Loy Norrix High School Principal Chris Aguinaga calls Luis Gutierrez “an all-around great kid.”
Gutierrez takes the praise with humility. He liked school. He liked his teachers. He liked playing basketball. He counts himself lucky — he has so many good memories about high school that it’s hard for him to choose a favorite.
In the fall, he plans to go to Western Michigan University to study business.
During his time at Norrix, Luis took Advanced Placement classes in Spanish and psychology, studied auto technology through Education For Employment, and played basketball as a small forward for three years after focusing on football as a freshman. He was also a member of the National Honor Society and participated in volunteer activities.
He took AP psych and AP Spanish as a sophomore, mostly because he was friends with upperclassmen who told him that was the route he should take.
“The teachers I had were amazing. I had Senora (Christina) Holmes for AP Spanish. She’s a great teacher who creates a safe and fun environment for learning about culture,” he said. “Mr. (Sean) Bergan taught me a lot about psychology. And, there were just day-to-day things that he would teach us. A lot of those things stuck with me.”
But his favorite teachers were by far business teacher Atiba Ward and Jim Leander, the EFE automotive technologies teacher.
“Mr. Ward would always encourage students to be the best that they can be. He was always resourceful and helped students learn more. He’d go out of his way to talk with you,” Luis said.
His junior year, he signed up for automotive technologies because of his longtime interest in cars.
“That class was probably one of my favorite memories of my junior and senior years,” Luis said. “We got to do a lot of hands on work, lifting up cars, changing oil. I made a lot of friends, and Mr. Leander was not just a teacher, but almost a friend.”
Luis says there were a lot of great people and great teachers at Norrix. His senior year didn’t end the way he imagined it would and that leaves him with a sense of regret and some advice for younger students.
“Just do the most that you can when you’re in high school,” he said. “Now that I’m out of high school and with the way it ended for me due to the coronavirus, I wish I had done a little more and spread my wings. I didn’t know the day I left that it was going to be my last day. Do the most you can, so you don’t have any regrets leaving there.”