As a Director of Learning Development at RAFT (Resource Area for Teaching), 1994 Milpitas High School alumnus Eric Welker develops curriculum support materials such as project guides and hands-on activities for educators.
The 47-year-old, who attended Curtner Elementary and Thomas Russell Middle School prior to MHS, credits his education career pathway to “the rigorous science and math curricula teachers used in my years at these schools helped foster a passion for these subjects.”
Welker’s resume includes a BA-Biology, MA-Education and Single Subject Teaching Credential as well as teaching biology, chemistry and math at Silver Creek High School, Cupertino High School, and for Modesto City Schools and Stanislaus County Office of Education for about 12 years.
Currently in his 15th year with RAFT, Welker designs and facilitates teacher professional development workshops to increase teacher self-efficacy in STEAM education, focusing heavily on K-5 teacher support and coaching. He creates and implements several other programs and community projects that impact K-5 schools and districts.
His passion for science grew with inspiration from three Milpitas HS teachers: Mr. Walt Dable (life science); Mr. Fred Gareb (biology/zoology); and Mr. Bob Armstrong (chemistry). “From these teachers I learned how to explain and apply science concepts with enthusiasm and a sense of wonder, and good work ethics,” shared Welker, whose math prowess was nurtured by inspirational teachers: Mr. David Ivanetich (Algebra 2); Mr. Kelly King (Math A); and Mr. Andreoli (Algebra 1 and Geometry).
The father of six said his confidence grew from the MHS English and Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC) programs, “From Mr. Weinstein and Mrs. Taggart, I learned to write and speak very well on any topic,” he shared. “I was in NJROTC all 4 years of high school and learned how to manage other people and lead them towards their own goals, and I lost a ton of weight and gained some muscle!”
Playing 4-square, tetherball, dodgeball and other recess/PE activities are some of his fondest memories of growing up in Milpitas and MUSD, where “my teachers while stern were also some of the kindest people I've known. They took the time to really get to know the students and treat them as emerging leaders.”
Welker, who still keeps in touch with many of his Milpitas schoolmates, wants the younger MUSD generations to treasure every moment in MUSD and shared, “My biggest piece of advice is to own your future and accept responsibility for the decisions (and their associated consequences) needed to get you there. Take risks, do fun activities in addition to working on academics, and find many avenues towards a blissful, fulfilled life.”
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING:
The governing board of Milpitas Unified School District will hold a Public Hearing on Tuesday, June 28, 2022.