All-Star Toro Stampede
By Sabrina Rodriquez, Principal, Matilda Torres High School
MATILDA TORRES HIGH School will be a definite standout for its fantastic facilities. However, it will be its all-star cast of extraordinary teachers, counselors, coaches, administrators, and various classified support members who will truly be the source of motivation and inspiration for students to dream big and achieve success. Many of these talented people come from schools within Madera Unified and a select handful of these talented individuals were recruited from neighboring school districts.
Every employee shares the belief that all students can learn at high levels. Our new staff collectively embraces Rita Pierson’s call to educators to focus on building relationships with students where: “Every child deserves a champion—an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.” This belief system is what former Madera Unified counselor, Matilda Torres, embraced; it was her mantra for every student she worked with. She was an educator who loved her students and built relationships with them that transformed their lives. She relentlessly championed each student and insisted he or she do more than what they even thought possible.
The Toro Stampede will be led by a local hometown hero, Jordan Murphy, who was recently named our Torres High School Athletic Director. Mr. Murphy is a Maderan and former Madera Unified student. He was an athlete at the University of La Verne, a trainer, and a veteran athletic director when we recruited him from Chowchilla High School. Mr. Murphy’s enthusiasm is palpable. No one can help but feel inspired when around him. He is a local success story who is completely devoted to giving back to our community. Mr. Murphy and his wife Sami have 4 children who are all excited to be Toros in the future.
Our future Physical Education Department Chair and Head Wrestling Coach is Mr. Sean Carlson. He is returning to Madera Unified where he served as a physical education teacher, football coach, track & field coach, and wrestling coach. He is also a former Division I college athlete. While in Madera Unified, he was honored as Madera Unified’s Distinguished Teacher of the Year for 2016. Coach Carlson is currently serving as a physical education teacher at Kerman High School and as their Head Varsity Wrestling Coach. We are excited to have Coach Carlson join the Toro family. His rapport with students is outstanding. He is highly regarded by students, parents, and community members alike. Coach Carlson’s integrity, dedication, and experience make him a remarkable asset–we are thrilled to have him on our campus.
A future fan favorite we were able to recruit from Fresno Unified is Coach Joseph Marquez. Coach Marquez will be our Head Football Coach at Torres High School. This fall will mark his 18th year of coaching as he begins to build our Toro Football Program from the ground up. Coach Marquez has experience working with young athletes from all levels ranging from elementary school to high school varsity. He was the Head Coach at Fresno High School for several years, as well as the Offensive Coordinator for Edison High School. Coach Marquez definitely has the necessary skills and experience to lead our future Toro Football Program to victory. Coach Marquez is committed to building student-athletes who understand and exhibit the core values of academics, responsibility, accountability, and character. Through collaboration with community stakeholders and the Torres staff, Coach Marquez will help prepare our students for lifelong success while providing them with a phenomenal athletic experience.
The Torres basketball fan base will have much to cheer for as Mr. Charles Rigby leads our Toros on the court. Coach Rigby is a longtime Madera resident. Coach Rigby has been coaching basketball for over 15 years. He has served as a head and assistant coach on many levels, from middle school to junior college. Mr. Rigby started coaching as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, Occidental College, and has never stopped. He recently served as Associate Head Coach at Reedley College with TJ Jennings. Coach Rigby has worked with NBA players, Division I college athletes, High School Gatorade POY candidates, and countless others. His experience with camps like UCLA’s, San Diego State’s, and even the Lakers’ training facility will help him bring expertise and work ethic to Torres High School. Coach Rigby knows the value of serving our community. He has been a pastor at Valley West Christian Center for the last 18 years. He has served on the Madera City Council as Mayor Pro Tem and as Chairman of the Madera Housing Authority. We welcome Coach Rigby as our Head Boys’ Basketball Coach. We have no doubt that his commitment is unwavering and that the success of our program is inevitable.
Many of our Toro families will be familiar to our new administrative team. Mr. Jacob Mortier, our Vice Principal, has served the Madera Unified School District for nine years in multiple capacities. He began his MUSD career at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School as a math teacher and athletics coach for golf and soccer. In 2014, he was selected as MLK’s Distinguished Teacher of the Year and also selected as the MUSD Teacher of the Year representative for the Madera County Excellence in Education Award. He is a proud member of the California Statewide Instructional Leadership Corps (ILC) and the only MUSD representative for the California State Math Community of Practice. He has served the last four years as a Vice Principal at Jack G. Desmond Middle School, and is incredibly excited to continue working with the Madera community in which his family lives. Mr. Mortier’s wife is a kindergarten teacher at Nishimoto Elementary School, where his daughter also attends as a second grade student. He has a 14-year-old son, as well as twin 4-year-old boys.
Our Toro Sophomores will all be familiar with our Vice Principal, Mr. Brad Holck. Mr. Holck will be joining the Toro family from Madera South High School. Mr. Holck has been with Madera Unified for six years, and has been an educator for over 15 years. He started his time in Madera Unified teaching English at Madera South High School for several years before he transitioned to his current position as a vice principal. Mr. Holck and his wife Kellie have 4 amazing kids whose ages range from 11 to 21 years old.
We are thrilled to report that our facility is still on schedule to open in August of 2020 with an extraordinary staff who are committed to making certain every student knows that the adults in the facility genuinely care about them and are invested in their future success.