By Anyssa Fimbres & Jessica Tarango
After 10 years of teaching anthropology at the University of Arizona—and after many “worldly” experiences”—Mr. Jonathan McLeod has ventured to Pueblo High School to teach English.
McLeod teaches four classes of freshman English; one sophomore English class; and this second semester he will teach an ACT Prep class to juniors.
“In the first semester at Pueblo, I have enjoyed developing student-teacher relationships,” McLeod said. “I’m just now really started to feel comfortable with those students in my classrooms.”
McLeod has been friends with PHS nurse Ms. Kate Straub, and she convinced him to apply for teaching positions at Pueblo. He was a frequent substitute-teacher last school year, and he jumped at the chance to become an “official” teacher for 2023-24.
“What I’ve really enjoyed most as a high school teacher is seeing improvement in my students’ work,” said McLeod. “I gain a lot of satisfaction from their academic success.”
Originally from Chicago, McLeod has lived and worked in many places around the world. He attended Georgetown University in Washington, DC, and lived in several American cities—most recently in San Francisco, Calif., before moving to Tucson.
However, McLeod’s early life reads like a global map. He attended many years of school in Singapore and Indonesia, which he said influenced his decision to become an anthropologist because of his fascination with many cultures. McLeod has even lived in Alaska for a few years.
He said, “I worked in the New Guinea jungles as an anthropologist from 2014 to 2019 conducting research with indigenous people because I wanted to know how these people live in the rain forest and how they were adapting to development.”
McLeod defines “anthropology” as the study and research of how people live and adapt to their environments, and although he would like to someday return to teaching college anthropology, he is happy right where he is now.
“I hope that my love of different cultures is contagious to my students,” McLeod said. “I have a lot to share with my students.”