Paul Collins: The “best teacher” at LQHS


Layla Freiberg

Paul Collins in his favorite spot on campus: the forensics lab of the PSA buildings where he used to teach.

Paul Collins is an English teacher at La Quinta High School and has been working as a teacher for 27 years.

He has been teaching at LQHS since 1999: for 22 years. Since he’s been at La Quinta, things have certainly changed.

Before the two-story buildings were built, they were once portable trailers. His classroom was one of them. 

His experience of becoming a teacher was quite easy.

One day, his wife’s school needed a teacher, so he became the next English teacher at their school.

While at La Quinta High School, Collins would say that his experience here has been a good one. 

Collins loves to teach, he says the best part of teaching is the students.

Tiffany Bailey
A student leaves a message on Collins’ whiteboard.

His favorite lesson to teach isn’t really an academic one, it’s the idea of success.

He said, “It may manifest itself differently from one student to another, but that success is there in every one of them, they just have to realize it and work to let it out.” 

His first year of teaching felt like he was becoming a part of the Blackhawk family and was especially memorable. He says the hardest thing is how transient teaching is.

“Every year students move on to continue their lives beyond LQHS and it is hard to see them go. I know that each of them is really tough; you can see it in their eyes,” he said. “It feels good knowing that I helped instill that, but it is always a little sad, too.” 

Tiffany Bailey
Knickknacks on Collins’ shelves by his desk.

Teachers who have been at LQHS for two decades have previously been honored as Blackhawk Legends, but that practice went by the wayside for a few years. 

Initiated by Rosemarie Chesebrough, a fellow Blackhawk Legend, the English department took it upon themselves to surprise Collins with gifts and coffee.

And if you know Collins, you would know how big of a deal that is. 

The English department also made a toast to him.

He says that it was really special and that they came at a time when he badly needed it. 

The Hawkview will continue to feature the Blackhawk legends throughout the school years.