Sitting in room 110 at the end of the main hallway at Cape Fear High School, CFNN teacher of the week Mr. John Valles gives us a glimpse into his life by sharing his background, hobbies, and love for English.
Mr. Valles is currently living in a full house with his wife Carly and their 3 daughters. His daughters are Juliana who is 19, Avalon is 14, and Gwendolyn is about to be 11. They also have two dogs Sadie who’s a lab, and Mayday who is a pitbull.
Before moving here to Fayetteville in 2001, he lived and grew up in Houston Texas. He decided to join the military, and was then stationed at Fort Bragg, which brought him to the Cape Fear area.
Mr. Valles enlisted in the Army in April 2001, at the age of 21 where he intended to serve four years and get out. On September 11th, during his first deployment to Iraq, he reenlisted in the Army and never looked back.
In deciding to reenlist in the Army, he moved to Fayetteville. He started off as a radio operator but later joined psychological operations, a branch of Special Operations, in 2007. The rest of Mr. Valles’s Army career would return him to Iraq, Afghanistan, and two stints working for the embassy of Bogota, Columbia. The final assignment of his career was a Psychological Operations Qualification Course in the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School.
When he was an instructor in the Army, online learning had started. He taught through online and he’s “Not a fan of it at all.”
“I was an instructor in the army for a few years, and I enjoyed it a lot, so I wanted to continue doing that,” he said. He had been in the army for 20 years before he retired and started his career as a teacher.
Mr. Valles graduated from Nimitz High School in Houston, Texas in 1998. He then got his associates degree in general education at Fayetteville Technical Community College, where he graduated with the highest of honors. Mr. Valles transferred to Arizona State University where he graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English in 2018.
He then proceeded to further his education at ASU and earned a Master of the Arts in English in 2020. Mr. Valles ended up at Cape Fear High School because he was looking for a teacher job and used to work with the husband of Mrs. Ross, one of the administrators at Cape Fear. He threw in an application and now is teaching at Cape Fear High School.
When he isn’t in the classroom, he enjoys fishing, collecting star wars items, building models and watching good movies. “My favorite movie of all time is A River Runs Through It, and my favorite TV show is Lucifer,” he said.
“English is all about communicating with other people, a good writer and good reader will become a good communicator,” Mr. Valles says as he is describing what English means to him.
Mr. Valles teaches English II, English III, English IV, and English IV honors. When teaching, Mr. Valles spends most of his class time talking with his students, helping them understand and comprehend literature and life in general. He discusses with them the assignments, themes/topics, and helps them in any way he can.
The first time Mr. Valles considered pursuing teaching was his sophomore year of high school. What made him realize he had an interest in teaching was an after school club, T.A.F.E, the Texas Association of Future Educators. This is his first year teaching and the students love being in his class.
Mr. Valles is excited to see where his passion for literature is going to take him on this new journey and he is looking forward to teaching for many more years to come. Congratulations, Mr. V! You’ve earned it!