The World Is Our Campus

The Arcadia Quill

The World Is Our Campus

The Arcadia Quill

The World Is Our Campus

The Arcadia Quill

Happy Retirement, Mr. Pasqua!

Left Image: 2005 Right Image: 2024

Arcadia High School (AHS) may be a colorful place, but perhaps none is as bright or cheery as D-111. That is, if you derive great joy from stepping over a crime scene victim’s outline on the daily trek to your desk (speaking purely from personal experience). While Mr. Mike Pasqua never fails to bring sadistic smiles to his students’ faces, it is with great sadness that all of us at AHS will be saying our farewells to Mr. Pasqua as he retires from his AHS duties. His wife, Mrs. Sharon Pasqua, who taught as a kindergarten teacher at Camino Grove for 34 years, will also be retiring this year.

Upon swinging open the door to Mr. Pasqua’s classroom, one is greeted by a sign that reads “Abandon all hope ye who enter,” complete with a skull and crossbones. His humor is not lost within, as his walls are filled with posters of past and present regimes, from fascism to communism posters. His windows are stacked with action figures, a true testament to the undercover hero-esque nature of his work.

Mr. Pasqua has taught at AHS for 24 years, but has also maintained an outside-of-school presence in the law. He attended Royal Oak High School in Covina, then attended Whittier College for his B.A. Mr. Pasqua later attained his J.D at UCLA and then went to Claremont for his MBA. He then spent nearly 17 years working in corporate law, a profession, he eventually came to realize, that wasn’t suited for him . 

“I loved it, but I was gone almost 50% of the time. I spent a year working in private practice…and I hated it,” said Mr. Pasqua. “While I was working, I went to APU at night to get my [teaching] credential.” 

Despite law and education being different fields, Mr. Pasqua has been able to merge his interests through his coursework. Since joining the AHS staff, he has branched out to teach AP Comparative Government and Politics, civil law, and criminal law. The law-centered courses have been his favorites to teach.

“I was given the opportunity to create classes and curriculum from the ground up,” said Mr. Pasqua. “Very few people have that opportunity and I will be eternally grateful.”

His goal has been to engage his students in the field of law and provide them with educational materials that promote engagement. His efforts, for the most part, seem to have succeeded.

“The concept from Day One was to create content that students would enjoy…and the classes seemed to have legs,” Mr. Pasqua said. “The one time when I had my ‘Mass Murderers and Serial Killers’ PowerPoint up and [we were] visited by an administrator was hysterical. The response was that students were very engaged.”

In addition to providing intellectually stimulating lessons, Mr. Pasqua has been engaged in quite a number of campus organizations. He served as the WASC chair in 2016 and currently serves as the SSC chair. Mr. Pasqua represented teachers on the health committee, advised the Financial Literacy Club, and was the LEO Club advisor for a number of years.

But, Mr. Pasqua hasn’t let his involvement in school get in the way of his own passions. He has continued doing law work on the side and during summer breaks. Another little-known fact is that he served as a committee member of the Comic Con, a passion that isn’t lost on his students, who learn economics amidst a plethora of action figures and vintage comics. Mr. Pasqua remains ambitious about his post-retirement plans. His short term goal is to “work on Nathan Hochman’s campaign to become LA County District Attorney.”

He also “plans to continue to do pro bono work for a nonprofit organization, the Thomas More Law Center.”

Mr. Pasqua did, however, have some remarks about his soon-to-be former place of employment. “[Arcadia] is a special place,” he said. “Both of my kids are AHS graduates and I know they were well-prepared for college  (and subsequent careers).  I see the positive effect that students have on society when they leave.”

But, he added in his trademark irony, “I don’t see any former students on America’s ‘Most Wanted.’”

Photo Courtesy of AHS Yearbook

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