Granada Profiles: Mr. Darren Ellis

Granada Profiles: Mr. Darren Ellis

Tyler Hayley, Reporter and Editor

One of the newest teachers on our campus, Mr. Ellis is a recent addition to the English department. Let’s meet the newest addition to the Granada staff.

Mr. Ellis wasn’t always a teacher, starting off his professional life as a member of law enforcement. Even more notably, he would then have a career in criminal defense consulting and working for various law firms. The decision to be a teacher wouldn’t be surprising, as Mr. Ellis has always wanted a job that allows him to help the community and build a better world for future generations.

“Ultimately it was the same reason I went into law. I wanted to make a tangible change…what better way to make a difference than to have a direct effect on people that are going to be the ones in positions…to write legislation, propose bills, to make changes at a societal and global level. What better way than to arm them with the tools to make those changes,” said Mr. Ellis.

The choice to become a teacher wouldn’t present itself immediately, as he would have to move around the country for work after the 2008 recession. Still, it seems a career in teaching would be his destiny as he would finally find work many years later at Granada. Mr. Ellis loves that he gets to work at Granada, stating, “I love the vibe, I love the staff, the students, and it’s just a really great place. It’s unique in the best way.”

Mr. Ellis would go on to teach English because he felt it was one of the subjects where you can have the biggest impact on students. Teaching both English 9 and 10 now, it would be his own English teachers growing up and his want to help build a better society that influenced him to teach English. Saying why he chose this subject, Mr. Ellis explained, “I realized in my professional working life…that there are aids in schools to be able to help you cope with just about everything, with the exception of English.”

Going further on why English is important, Mr. Ellis described how almost every subject has tools that can help you; you can use a calculator for math, translation apps for languages, and the internet for history, but there are not the same tools for English. “There are no tools to help you read the nuances of contracts. You’re going to rent a place; you’re going to have to read a lease and understand [it]. Everything you do comes back to you…and having a mastery of the English language and writing, and being able to critically think, is everything. That is the foundation of modern life.”

Mr. Ellis certainly loves his job when asked if he could have any other career, he stated, “I can’t think of myself doing anything else.” It’s his love of his students that makes him such a fun and amazing teacher as he truly cares about the well-being and growth of his students. He wants to teach kids how to critically think and make sure they’re prepared for life.

When he isn’t teaching, Mr. Ellis loves an assortment of outdoor activities, but one of his favorite past-times is road-racing motorcycles. While he might not be as active in the sport as he once was, Mr. Ellis used to race on a national level and now enjoys teaching others about the sport. He also enjoys other sports such as golf, miniature riding, and dirt bike riding. “If it has anything to do with adrenaline or a risk of injury, you can probably find me doing it.”

Mr. Ellis also loves our town. Despite being born in Clayton, he loves living in Livermore which reminds him of his own hometown. Stating what makes Livermore so great, he feels it’s that we are one of few East Bay towns that still feels like a small town. “It’s a very different feeling than you get anywhere else in the Bay Area, it’s a community which is why I decided to come back and raise my own family here.”

We’re very glad to have Mr. Ellis at Granada as he shows a clear passion for his work and for his students. He hopes to make a difference at Granada and help students be prepared for the future. The advice he’d like to give to every Granada student is, “Definitely enjoy your time while you’re here, but more so understand the bigger picture…This is the first step of many many steps that will dictate what you do in the long-term so [it’s] definitely good to have an idea of where you want to go and what you see yourself doing…Essentially, be far-sighted, don’t be short-sighted because it’ll make a difference in the long run.”