Psyched for Psychology


Jack Lonon

Mr. Aguiar stands in front of an alien mask, face concealed by his hat.

Jack Lonon, Staffer

One of Sunlake High School’s most popular electives for juniors and seniors is AP Psychology. Aside from fascinating course content and a challenging curriculum, the class also has this to offer: the eccentric and elusive Mr. Aguiar. Since he started working at the school 15 years ago, he’s become notorious for his funny and bizarre personality, especially his obsession with aliens, cryptids, conspiracies, and the like. But being a high school teacher wasn’t always part of the plan for him: “Becoming a teacher was more of a coincidence. My original degree path was A&R representation, like signing bands/musical artists to record labels; in the marketing field) but those jobs started folding in the early-mid 2000s. Teaching and working with people with behavioral disorders was the second option career field. I originally ran a Job Placement Transition Program with behavioral disordered and intellectually disabled students at Sunlake. The programs was cut due to lack of funding, so I was moved to social studies and slowly started building the AP Psych program.”

Being Sunlake High School’s fan favorite is a lot of pressure. Former and current students might recall Mr. Aguiar sharing that being an introverted person, working with other people all day can be draining for him. The hard work definitely pays off, though, since being a teacher is very rewarding. Mr. Aguiar’s favorite unit to teach in AP Psychology is “Social Psychology! I love the critical human behavior studies, like The Shock a Stranger Study and the Stanford Prison Experiment.” As for what his students have taught him, he’s learned “a bunch about current events, current linguistics, and pop-culture.” Even better than what he’s learned on the job, the absolute best part of being a teacher for him is “watching the students grow and learn; especially when they can use course content to rationalize events in their own lives.

Mr. Aguiar smiles for the camera. (Jack Lonon)