Feature Photo By: Alivia Lee – Mr. Mequi explains stoichiometry and conversion factors to his class. This is currently Mequi’s 18th year at Rangeview.
By Alivia Lee, Review Staff
Biking god, vegetarian extraordinaire, mad scientist, naturalized citizen, and well-known teacher to many, Mr. Mequi continues to not only bring science to the lives of Rangeview students, but to bring much needed comedic relief to the day-to-day lives of those around him. Mequi is currently on his 18th year at Rangeview and has become a household name for hundreds, perhaps thousands, of students.
Throughout his life, Mequi has had many life changing experiences and has never shied away from taking the time to talk about life with his students. Mequi was born in the Philippines and moved to the United States in the 1970’s. In his youth, Mequi joined the United States Air Force where many of his classroom stories took place.
“Well, in the Air Force, I had my rights read to me — It wasn’t my fault,” said Mequi, as he reflects on his time spent in the Air Force. “I saw my first nuclear bomb, spent 32 days skiing in the European Alps.”
It is Mequi’s wild adventures that have perhaps helped shape him into the man he is today, constantly sharing his knowledge, wisdom, and personality with all of his students and fellow co-workers.
“Working with Mequi is like visiting a foreign country,” said Mrs. Reyes. “You have to learn a whole new language. He’s so smart, he puts things on another level.”
Though Mequi did immigrate to this country, Reyes is not simply referring to Mequi’s foreign background, but rather how his intellect and personality are almost unworldly. While good teachers can come from a variety of backgrounds, it is his foreign background that allows Mequi to have enhanced connections with students.
“Some of the Asian kids will come up to me after class and talk to me because they’re more comfortable. It’s the familiarity,” said Mequi.
The connection is not just a one way street as many Asian students do find a resource in Mequi.
“There’s not many Asian male teachers in APS. In fact, he’s the only one I’ve ever had, so it’s cool to see your ethnicity being represented in education at the high school level,” said senior Vincent Tran, who is Vietnamese. “It makes it easier to connect with him because he knows what my culture is like.”
While teaching is a major part of Mequi’s life, he frequently appreciates the other things that life has to offer. Mequi is an avid biker, spends a lot time with his wife and three school-aged kids, and always remembers to enjoy the small things. Throughout his time at Rangeview, Mequi has also taught many students about his keys to living life well.
“He helped me out by not only giving me advice on my academic life, but I also trust him with my personal life,” explained Evelin Acosta, 2016 Rangeview graduate. “He always helped me figure out what was truly best for me. He always knew how to cheer me up when I needed it, and I hope he continues to do that for many other students.”
From teaching about ionic bonds to cracking jokes about a potentially serious and/or offensive topic, Mequi continues to make an impact on all the students whom he teaches, his students say; it is clear that in the minds of many, Mequi is quite the contribution to the Rangeview community.