Staff Member Spotlight: Mr. Raffetto

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Hillary Lee

Mr. Raffetto, the Wilcox business teacher.

Hillary Lee , Lifestyles Editor

Mr. Raffetto, a business teacher at Wilcox High School, was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. He has taught for 28 years, 15 of which are at Wilcox. Mr. Raffetto started coaching and teaching back in 1994. “Coaching got me to teaching,” he says.

In college, Raffetto majored in business administration with a computer information system emphasis at Humboldt State University. 

Along the way, he taught at 4 high schools: ten years at San Mateo High, three years at San Benito High, one year at South San Francisco, and fourteen years at Wilcox. While teaching, he was also a head coach for basketball at Skyline College. Additionally, he helped out as a basketball assistant at Merritt College in Oakland, Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz, and West Valley College in Saratoga. 

After coaching basketball for many many years, Raffetto made the decision to stop coaching full-time because he wanted to spend more time with his daughter. It was important for him to watch the different activities she participated in before she left for college. She played basketball when she was little but switched to water polo, a sport that seemed unfamiliar at first. When she was in high school, he would watch her play water polo and witness her improve throughout the years. By senior year, she was the unanimous MVP of the league.

In Raffetto’s spare time, he works with the Wilcox Business Experience (WBE), the business club at Wilcox. Mrs. Armstrong and Mr. Raffetto started this club seven years ago; back then there were only six members. Now there are over 100. Over the years, it has gotten more and more competitive. In Wilcox’s history, WBE has won several state championships and two national championships. “It feels good to see the students at Wilcox competing with the best academic students in the country and doing well,” says Raffetto. “This club fills my competitive void for coaching…the hours per week we need to put in has become daunting as we’ve grown as a club” he continues. For each team, it has gotten time-consuming due to the amount of time they must commit in order to succeed.

Currently, one of the projects WBE is working on is Project 23, among several others. This year, Business Club is doing five major events: Flexfactor, Parade of Champions, DECA, Stock Market Game, and Project 23. Many refer to WBE as “DECA” because it is the biggest competition the club competes in. Mr. Raffetto and Mrs. Armstrong are Wilcox’s DECA advisors for this chapter. In previous years, WBE would not have thought about the amount of success to where it is now. In the past seven years, there have been 45 top ten finishers in the state. In one subdivision, the Personal Finance Challenge, there were two state and one national champion on average from the 15,000 students that were in the division.  

“Mr. Howard inspired me to get into coaching,” Raffetto also enjoys watching basketball, especially because he coached it for a long time. His favorite team was The LA Clippers. “Everybody else was a Lakers fan, I didn’t want to be like them,” he says. However, he has not played in a long time; unfortunately, due to playing a lot of basketball, he received three knee surgeries. “My ACL was torn three different times,” Raffetto reveals. Raffetto’s favorite basketball team now is the Boston Celtics.

Many of the students enrolled in Raffetto’s business classes, either financial lit or financial investing, enjoy participating in his lessons. “When I walk into his class, I feel empowered to learn,” states Pranay Ravella, a Wilcox High School sophomore. Some also agree that the business classes that Raffetto teaches are extremely beneficial and useful in everyday life. “People should take Mr. Raffetto’s class to gain real-world skills,” says Sunny Chandra, a junior taking financial investing. “Raffetto has a unique teaching style in which he enables students to succeed,” states Gurleen Deol, a sophomore at Wilcox.

Through lots of experience and dedication to teaching, Raffetto has made numerous achievements which all contribute back to Wilcox. “The club is growing fast, but we’re just getting started,” he says.