Like many people in the Bay Area, Andrew Seike’s parents were immigrants but unlike many of these immigrants, Mr. Seike’s parents were from two historically opposing cultures. His father who was born China in the late 20s and his mother in the early 30s in Japan met after WWII when sentiments between the two cultures were at its worst. Born in San Francisco, this dichotomy of culture and a desire to fit in mainstream America shaped Mr. Seike greatly at an early age. During these formative years life was unusually tumultuous and to facilitate an escape he often found solace in the only safe haven provided by his environment. In school he was nurtured by several important teachers who left an indelible mark on his life. With the assistance of these influential role models coupled with his mother’s wonderful altruism and magnanimity, he found fulfillment in the improvement of the welfare of others from teaching neighborhood children how to skateboard to helping a struggling friend with literature or math. Although he does not harbor any discontent, Mr. Seike was not afforded many luxuries in his youth having never been on a plane, experiencing a family trip or even travelling anywhere out of the Bay Area. However, in literature he was able to travel the world vicariously through the dreams, realities and lives of some of the greatest minds in the world. In literature he found one of his deepest passions and gravitated towards its comforting embrace. Although Mr. Seike had a burgeoning experience in computers since his childhood, Mr. Seike decided in his junior year of high school that he wanted to follow the footsteps of his mother (who taught for a brief time in Japan) and the teachers that impacted his life.
Both parents being blue collar workers, Mr. Seike worked dozens of jobs but finally found stability in the budding tech industry to help pay for his education and living expenses while going through college to become an English teacher. He has always felt since those early years that he needed to constantly prove himself worthy of teaching English and he strove to make this possible through determination, effort and conscientious study. He faced significant opposition even from college English professors who strongly discouraged him from continuing his dream. Strangely even with the great diversity within the City, he was only one of four people of color in the teaching program that year and the only person of color who pursued English as his major. Even with the blossoming computer industry that was steadily becoming quite lucrative, he never once waivered in his conviction to help others through the joy of literature eventually earning his credential from San Francisco State University in mid 90s becoming the first Asian male English teacher to ever graduate according to his credential professor who taught at SFSU for over twenty five years.
He has been at Lynbrook high school for over twenty years and has taught many of the subjects in his department. He currently teaches 9th grade Literature and Writing and 11th grade AP Language and composition. Mr. Seike believes in teaching to the whole person and has the perfect subject to do so. In hopes of reaching more students and fostering the development of character, he created a martial arts class as a PE Elective (with the blessing and support of his wonderful school) which was unfortunately suspended after seven years due to budget cuts. Today he continues to teach martial arts as a club at his school in an after school program.
Although Mr. Seike can be quite technical and analytical in his delivery, he believes that fostering the love of literature and learning is of paramount importance especially at a school whose general audience will pursue a career in science or math. His feelings for his students and staff is indescribable as well as his concern for their welfare. He fosters an environment that is full of laughter and completely carefree where students are able to speak their own mind without fear of reprisal and encourages them be themselves through humor and by relaying self-deprecating and often comical stories about himself and his life experiences. He never takes his job or position for granted, teaching every moment with great reflection, passion and intensity with hopes to inspire his students to appreciate their lives by connecting difficult life lessons to their own through the wonderful stories from literature. His appreciation of all the things he has and the people who have helped him so greatly in his life motivates him to be the best person and teacher he can be.
Mr. Seike is currently engaged to his wonderful fiancée Christine and is owned by his menagerie of pets in San Jose.
Mr. Seike is truly humbled and in complete disbelief for being offered a chance to win the All Star teacher award knowing that simply being recognized is a gift in on itself. If he wins he will replace and add many mats and supplies so sorely needed for his martial arts program with the remainder (if any) to be used on technology to supplement his English classes.