Learn how one educator made an esports team program a priority—even through some very tough obstacles

Esports in Paradise

Learn how one educator made an esports program a priority—even through some very tough obstacles

Throughout my last two years teaching, I have had a journey that is anything but typical of a teacher, especially one who has been pushing for esports and esports education at not one, but two, different schools and age brackets.

My story begins when I was hired to teach at a brand new high school, Achieve Charter High School of Paradise. In the summer of 2018, I was contacted by the principal of the school asking if I had any interest in esports at the high school level, as I had expressed an interest in gaming during one of my interviews.

Related content: 8 tips to launch an esports program in your district

What followed was a whirlwind of contacts, meetings, and suddenly I was in contact with the Northern California Esports League, which was based out of the Butte County Office of Education and spearheaded by two of the region’s esports leaders, County Superintendent Tim Taylor and Jerry Hight.

Our school opened in August of 2018 with a total of 50 freshmen students, and about 20 of them had a passion or an interest in esports. Before we even had computers or a league to play in, our school had students starting and hosting Super Smash Bros events and competitions using a projector in our school gymnasium.

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