Official Publication of La Jolla High School Since 1924


Official Publication of La Jolla High School Since 1924


Official Publication of La Jolla High School Since 1924



Mr. Jim Essex is in his 15th year at La Jolla High School, teaching freshmen, juniors, and seniors. He was named La Jolla High’s Teacher of the Year in 2022, and loves teaching in the English department. Students and teachers alike agree that he is an integral staff member at LJHS, and truly cares about his students and shaping their love of learning. But Mr. Essex isn’t just an amazing teacher. He’s also an eccentric individual with a plethora of interesting anecdotes about La Jolla High. We asked Mr. Essex…


Q. What is your favorite and least favorite grade to teach? Why?

JE: I’d have to say my favorite class has to be AP Lit, because I’m a literature guy, so it’s just me having fun. I also enjoy having the freshmen class, because they’re open to suggestions. 


Q. Besides you, who is the most eccentric teacher on campus? 

JE: I’m going with Tellers.


Q. What is the weirdest thing you’ve seen/experienced at La Jolla High?

JE: Years ago, they did this flash mob out on the quad to Michael Jackson’s Thriller, and it was so well prepared and so unexpected and had so many people involved. It was amazing. 


Q. What is the most absurd thing you have in your classroom?

JE: Probably a toss-up between my dancing Frankenstein with a Barbie head, or the religious candle with my face on it instead of Jesus’s. 


Q. How did your childhood shape you?

JE: It made me as insane as I am today.


Q. What made you want to become a high school teacher?

JE: If someone had told me when I was in college that I’d end up teaching high school, I would not have believed them. My wife was a teacher, and she said, “you really should try teaching.” So I did, and I sold my business, and I’ve loved every minute of it. 


Q. Why do you think students like you so much?

JE: I’m not sure that they do. Maybe it’s because people under 20 tend to be extremely gullible, so they’ll like anybody. 


Q. What is your favorite holiday and why?

JE: I like Halloween, because I’m a big fat Pagan atheist, and I have Satanic leanings.


Q. What is your favorite book to read in class and why?

JE: That’s tough, because there’s a bunch of them that I like. I do like doing One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest because it deals with a bunch of crazy people, and I like that because I can relate. But I also love Hamlet, and I love doing Native Son. 


Q. Why do you like summer vacation so much?

JE: I like to travel, and my goal has always been to be on a plane within 24 hours of that last bell. 


Q. Contrary to popular belief, do teachers play favorites? Do you?

JE: Absolutely. I have maybe two students that I really like a lot, and I really despise everyone else. I don’t think academically favorite, but certainly, everyone has a personality, and sometimes some personalities mesh better than others, but I’m not sure I’d use the word favorites. 


Q. What is your favorite food item from the student store?

JE: Rice Krispies treats. 


Q. Who inspires you?

JE: Everybody. Honestly everybody. 


Q. What advice do you give to every student?

JE: Try your hardest and have a lot of fun.


Mr. Jim Essex is an integral staff member at La Jolla High. Image via Kyra Sharma.
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About the Contributor
Kyra Sharma
Kyra Sharma, Managing and Opinions Editor
Kyra Sharma is a junior in her second year of Journalism as the Managing and Opinions editor. With her background as a staff writer and guest contributor for Hi-Tide over the past two years, as well as her heavy commitment to Speech and Debate, Kyra has had several opportunities to voice her opinion on important issues that are often left in the dark. She looks forward to furthering her journalistic career by encouraging staff writers to provide diverse perspectives on such matters, and ensuring that the publication remains a platform for impactful discussion. While Kyra is excited to contribute to the paper by writing and editing articles, as well as fundraising, she is also eager to continue working with her fellow staff members on Hi-Tide.