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7 Things About Ray Lehner

What inspired you to do this kind of work?

I attended Jesuit High School in Sacramento, and had some really great teachers and coaches. I also played rugby at Cal for Jack Clark, who taught me so much about coaching and leadership. Both experiences were very inspiring and, well, they really put the hooks in me.

What is your position here and how long have you worked at O’Dowd?

I have been a Social Studies teacher at O’Dowd since 2002. I mostly teach Government and Economics and sometimes U.S. and World History. I am also the moderator of the Senior Class and three clubs: Outdoor Adventures, Junior Statesmen of America and the Military History Society. I have coached freshman football and currently coach men’s and women’s varsity rugby. The latter are programs I started here on campus in 2010.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received (generally – it doesn’t have to be related to O’Dowd)?

There are 2 pieces of advice that I try to keep in mind all the time:

1. Be yourself

2. “Show Me, Don’t Tell Me,” courtesy of Coach Kyriacou, who has a T-shirt with the saying. It’s become my core philosophy for dealing with young people, including my own children.

What is your favorite thing about your job?

Working with young people.

What about your field or position do you think would surprise people the most?

It feels very cliché to be a Social Studies teacher and coach. I suspect I fit the mold well, but I have always regarded myself as an academic first and foremost, rather than a “jock.” Based on my experience in the classroom, I would also like to someday to have my own radio talk show.

What is the most interesting or surprising thing about you?

I have a guilty pleasure – Wikipedia surfing. I read about a topic, then jump to another, and another. I have wasted hours of prep periods reading about random topics from Supercross racing, to the Battle of the Bulge, to the Wishbone offense to the Rolling Stones …

If you could rescue only one thing from your burning office, what would it be?

My “Dictionary of Curious Phrases.”

Bonus Questions

What is your favorite kind of music/what are your favorite bands?

I like classic rock and country, Marshall Tucker, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hank Williams Jr., and Jamey Johnson.

What is your favorite sports team or who is your favorite individual athlete?

The Oakland Raiders and Kenny “The Snake” Stabler.


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