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The Cat's Eye

The Cat's Eye

The Cat's Eye

Jason Arthur: Paraeducator who makes it happen for him

Diana Arthur
Jason Arthur and his fellow band-mates playing on stage at a show.

“In life, you’re going to have to make it happen. It’s not going to happen for you.” Mr. Jason Arthur, a paraeducator at Rancho Cucamonga High School, said that was the most influential piece of advice he was given. Arthur’s varsity baseball coach and history teacher told him this mantra. The moment those words left his coach’s mouth, a seed was planted in Arthur’s mind.

As a paraeducator, Arthur aids students when working independently, assists in the teacher’s lessons, and overall looks over students while they work. Arthur’s job is to help kids succeed at Rancho. From the day he walked onto campus ten years ago, he noticed a particular culture and energy to RCHS.

“You could be having a horrible morning and coming on campus, seeing the student body and the staff makes it a special place to be,” Arthur said.

With so many years at RCHS, Arthur has helped a lot of students.

“With my experience, Mr. Arthur has been more of a friend than a teacher,” senior Vincent Torres said.

For many students who have interacted with Arthur, they tend to mention his kind and friendly demeanor. Torres first met Arthur in U.S. History his junior year and had been influenced by Athur’s kindness and wisdom.

“We’ve talked a lot about music and our favorite types. What we listen to and various things like what we’re doing during the weekend,” Torres said. “He’s taught me that grades in school are not the only things that matter and no matter the path you take in life, it’ll all end up being alright.”

Arthur explained that there is no formal type of education for what he does. When he first applied, it was because his friend recommended it. His friend, also a paraeducator, said Arthur had a lot of patience and that’s the number one thing you needed for this particular job. He told him to go to the district and apply, and that’s what he did.

“I had no idea how to do this job,” Arthur said. “When I came here it was one on one. [ . . . ] There’s no special training for what I do. It was right into the frying pan for me.”

According to Arthur, retired special Ed teacher, Mr. Andrew Beaucamp, was a huge help when Arthur first came to the school. As well as Ms. Jodi Collins, the special education advisor. The staff at Rancho was more than willing to help Arthur adjust to RCHS’s environment.

“[Beaucamp] gave me a lot of pointers, and I took it and ran with it,” Arthur said.

Beaucamp and Collins are just some of the connections Arthur has made here at RCHS. For the past five to seven years, Arthur has worked particularly closely with Mr. Alan Allen. Allen is a world and U.S. history teacher.

“I consider him my friend, my colleague, and my equal,” Arthur said regarding Allen.

Allen similarly talked fondly of Arthur.

“Mr. Arthur is a hard working, friendly man who’s dedicated to our students here at Rancho,” Allen said. “He aims to make it the best place possible for everyone.”

Ever since Athur was a junior in high school, he was in a band. The band consisted of close friends, all of which he had grown up with.

“We didn’t really know what we were doing, just punk rockers playing in a punk rock band,” Arthur said. “I don’t think we had a name. We wanted to play in a band because we’d see our favorite bands on TV, on a show, or playing at a party and we wanted to do it.”

Previous to Arthur joining RCHS, he worked for the Sheriff’s Department. He describes graduating from the Sheriff’s academy as the most impactful thing to happen to him. Being fresh out of high school and becoming a police officer matured him very quickly.

“A couple years after I was out of the academy, I was getting married, starting a family, and already bought my first house,” Arthur said. “I had friends my age living with their parent’s wondering what they were going to do with their lives. When I started the academy I set those goals for myself.”

He describes training as structured and rigid, with no flexibility. If he failed a single test, he was fired from the academy. That’s how serious it was. According to Arthur, if one person messed up in his squad, everyone suffered for it. Whether it be publicly berated in front of all recruits or simply being fired, it was no easy task.

Arthur described how harsh it was. He also said it was a personality buffer that thankfully prepared him for what was to come in the police force. Arthur was no longer a shy teenager, but a young adult who was friends with people as old as his dad. He also noted that from this training, he didn’t need much to be a paraeducator. He had the patience and leadership of a police officer.

“I was working with guys as old as my dad that I was calling my friends,” Arthur said. “The funny thing is that when I met my wife, she was six years older than me. I didn’t think anything of it. I liked the fact that she was older and knew what she wanted to do with her life. Which usually is the other way around.”

While Arthur was in the police force, he stopped playing in the band with his close childhood friends and decided to join a different band, The Relatives. He sings and plays the bass guitar. Arthur currently plays in three bands consisting of The Relatives and two tribute bands. Arthur has even produced a single called ‘Only Love’ featuring Grace Cruise.

Arthur retired early because of a work injury. However, he was still young and wanted to work. So, what does someone do when their world gets flipped upside down? When they have worked somewhere for ten years of their life and it’s suddenly taken away from them?

They pivot.

“It took a little bit of getting used to. You do something for ten years, it becomes a habit,” Arthur said. “But, I’ve been here for ten years.”

Arthur wrestled with different jobs still including investigative work. This was a single-person job and wasn’t what he was looking for. He said he missed the people he worked with and the camaraderie. That’s when he got a recommendation from his friend who happened to be a paraeducator.

“It wasn’t until I came [to Rancho],” Arthur said. “That I saw that same camaraderie among the staff. That’s why I like it here.”

Unforeseen events can turn into something wonderful, even if the change is uncomfortable and difficult to see at the moment. There’s always a brighter side to things. Arthur went through tough times, but at the end of the day, when he wanted something done, he made it happen. In life, if you don’t make it happen, “It’s not going to happen for you.”

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About the Contributor
Isabella Moran
Isabella Moran, Asst. Editor in Chief

Isabella Moran is a senior at RCHS, and this is her second year in journalism. She is the assistant-editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, The Cat’s Eye. Her favorite thing about journalism is creating Scrappy and being in a position to influence her classmates in a positive way. When she is not working on the school paper, Moran is hanging out with her boyfriend, stressing about AP Art Studio, and listening to Tyler, the Creator. 

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