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The Growl

The Growl

Surrell: what’s his-story?

Surrell works at his computer while waiting for the next class to start.

Every day hundreds of students pile through the doors of room 160 at South Hills to be taught by none other than Jason Surrell. He has been a teacher, a mentor, and a friend to many here at SHHS for 26 years and this is his story. 

Before Surrell had started to work here, he thought about going back to his hometown to teach there or go to Temecula to be close to his wife’s family. However, one call from former South Hills principal Judy North suddenly changed those ideas. 

“Moc [Mocabee] was already working here and I was looking for a full-time teaching position. So I kept in contact with Mrs. North and went in for an interview and they offered me a teaching and coaching job,” Surrell said. 

Surrell has had a long and successful career as a coach. He first coached at Bonita High School as a JV soccer coach during his college years before he became the boys varsity soccer coach here at South Hills. Later becoming the head coach for the women’s soccer team at Azusa Pacific University (APU). 

“I always coached in some capacity. I stopped doing the boys here for about 10 years then I picked it back up four years ago then stepped back down. It’s been about a good twenty-six or twenty-seven years.” 

From the time he was a kid, Surrell was always playing sports with soccer being his favorite. He went through high school playing soccer which earned him a Scholarship at APU. 

“It was something I always did as a kid. I naturally gravitated towards whatever sport. For me growing up, it was soccer as a kid and even in high school. Then I ended up playing soccer in college at Azusa Pacific,” Surrell said.

While still enjoying soccer, Surrell also enjoys maintaining a healthy lifestyle, surrounding himself with loved ones, and cooking meat on his smoker.   

“Then it’s just friends and family stuff I like to do. I love the process of using my smoker. I love thinking about what I’m going to do with it, how I’m going to do it, and how I will season it. I enjoy that.” 

Everybody has moments in life that they are extremely proud of. For Surrell, these things have appeared to him in many different ways. From his family to school-related things, Surrell recounts what has made him proud. 

“My daughter who is 21 years old and the type of person she is. She is very caring and cares about people. She’s genuine and I think that’s something I’m proud of. I’m proud that she has that worldview,” Surrell said.

Everyone at one point has wondered what makes a teacher keep teaching. Surrell gave some insight into what keeps him excited to come to school every day.

“I think for me, I try to build you guys up. I think students sell themselves short in what they can achieve and accomplish, so I try to build confidence in people as much as I can,” Surrell said. “But if I can inspire someone to create a deeper belief in themselves, that keeps me excited to come to work.”

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About the Contributor
Kaeleb Hanson
Kaeleb Hanson, Editor
Hey! My name is Kaeleb Hanson and if you’ve read Growl last year then you may have seen some of my articles floating around. It’s my second year here and unfortunately, my last year since I'm a senior now. But that isn’t going to prevent me from writing about topics or people I think are important! I hope to make an impact on the school as a whole and give a voice to the stories of South Hills.
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