Social Science Teacher Mr. Michael Watson

Mr. Michael Watson talks about what he’d do if he won the lottery, his go-to outfits and the best advice he’s received.


Since 1996, Mr. Michael Watson has been a familiar face on campus. After the 2021-22 school year, he is set to retire.

Mr. Michael Watson grew up in two places, the first being a small farming town in Oregon and later in Vancouver, Canada. He never dreamed of being a teacher, it wasn’t in any of his plans. He wanted to be a professional football or basketball player, but he wasn’t all good at that.  Immediately after high school, Mr. Watson went to a Bible college for two years and later left for San Diego Mesa College. Then, he attended San Diego State University. He then hopped over to Fuller Theological Seminary in 1987 and finally got his teaching credentials from Chapman University. Mr. Watson initially got a job as a 9th-grade teacher at Van Nuys Middle School and later moved to teach at Van Nuys High School in 1996. Mr. Watson has been teaching World History and European history on campus for the past 28 years. 

1) What has given you a serious laugh attack recently? 

It would’ve been something my wife did. This was quite a while ago when my son was still living with us. My wife had lost her keys and my son had found them in the freezer. We couldn’t figure out how they got there. Whenever she loses her keys, we check there.

2) Imagine, you won the lottery today. What would you do? Where would you go?

I would normally say retire, but I am doing that anyway. I used to say I would travel. We also have family members we could buy houses for. We could get my mother in a better facility for her health. Not much for me, I am all set. Maybe I will also invest in some of my sons ideas. 

3) What is something you wish you could tell yourself the first day you started teaching?

I do have this one memory of a really sweet girl. She was all personality and fun but was failing my class. Once I told her she was going to fail, I remember how she was going to cry. I could have given her a D. It is not my goal to fail anybody, so I would just say slip them a D. Lighten up on the F’s. Not the A’s!

4) What would you describe your personal fashion style as? 

Casual. For a lot of years, it was Hawaiian shirts, shorts and sandals, for like 20 years. Now it’s probably a polo shirt with a food stain.

5) What is the best advice you have ever received?

You have to be honest and you have to be authentic. You have to follow your own moral compass. Know who you are and know what your morality is and what you can stand. It affects what you do for a living, who you’re around and what things you stand for. It affects so much. Be honest and authentic.

6) What is something you don’t think should exist?

Guns. This comes right after the shooting of kids and hate.

7) What is your favorite throwback song?

‘If You Could Read My Mind’ by Gordon Lightfoot.