The Apache Pow Wow

An Ice Breaking Feat

Justin Cun, Writer

On March  9, AHS’ beloved physics and AP Chemistry teacher, Ms. Goto, competed at the 2018 Adult Sectional Figure Skating Championships. She competed in the Bronze Ladies group against numerous other skaters in Pasadena, ultimately claiming 4th place.

As an engaging and exuberant teacher at AHS, Ms. Goto has surely impressed and inspired many students. However, Ms. Goto has perhaps received even more admiration after her students and peers discovered her accomplishments in figure skating. What is even more remarkable is the countless teaching which never seems to falter with her ability to balance competitive skating and her work at school.

“I practice 5 to 6 times a week for an hour each time [and] I’ve never skipped a day of practice,” says Ms. Goto confidently. When asked if her school work, (i.e. creating lectures, tests, quizzes, and study material for both her physics and AP chemistry classes) ever hinders her from leisure time in skating, she smiles and remarks, “I work so hard for my classes and students everyday so I’m able to make my escape time in skating. I never choose one over the other.” Ms. Goto describes, in particular, the perfect balance she has created between her figure skating and teaching.

Out of her numerous other competitors, Ms. Goto came out 4th. However, despite not making it on the podium this year, Ms. Goto cheerfully says, “I’m still happy because I was able to accomplish my program and even a sit spin during the competition.” (A sit spin is defined as when the one leg is bent at the knee and the free leg is extended forward.)

Ms. Goto also mentions her idols, such as the Japanese Olympic figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu, and her own son who had originally piqued her interest for skating, as those who consistently fuel her dedication to succeed in her future goals. Her long-term goals, as she describes, is being a “lifetime skater”, while her short-term goals are to “pass all the upcoming skating tests and master the single axel jump.” (A single axel jump is a 1½ rotation spin in the air where the skater lands gliding backwards.)

When asked about her favorite part in figure skating, Ms. Goto promptly answered, “There are so many things I enjoy about it.” After moments of contemplation, she finally answers, “I really enjoy everything about it. It’s hard to say, but I like how I get to see my success after I put a lot effort in practicing. Just like when I learn something new, I think it’s fun trying to master it.”   

Although she mentions physical constraints in skating, like her knee problems, Ms. Goto also claims that they won’t hinder her will to continue practicing for her competitions. Her tenacity and confidence are contagious qualities. Ms. Goto truly stands as a character who impresses and inspires not only her students but even teachers, too. Her success with her students as well as her goals in skating are but a small reflection of Ms. Goto’s many achievements. We thank you for being such a huge inspiration, and we wish you the best of luck next year, Ms. Goto!

Photo by THE GOTO FAMILY

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An Ice Breaking Feat