slide image

Jaden Harrod, Plugged In


It was a Jurupa Valley High School teacher and mentor who helped shape Jaden Harrod’s career path.

With the help and guidance of his mentor, Mr. Bryan Kendall, the 2018 graduate started subbing on the Jurupa Unified School District’s Education-Information Technology help desk. He later became a computer support assistant, and in August started teaching Career Technical Education classes at his alma mater.

Mr. harrod with two students looking at a computer in his classroom

​Mr. Harrod hopes to follow in his mentor’s footsteps as he teaches Introduction to Engineering, Introduction to Computer Science, and IT Service Technician courses. His classes include the popular Dell Student TechCrew classes which allow students to graduate with certifications qualifying them for employment immediately after graduation.​

Mr. Harrod uses all of the skills and knowledge he gained in his former position to help his students to learn. 

“Everything that I was taught at the District office is now what I teach to the students,” he said, adding that his goal is to help students to either be ready for employment right after high school, or graduate ready for success in college, if that is their choice.

Mr. Harrod said his new role is “definitely a change of pace. In IT there’s problems and there’s solutions. With students, it’s constantly transitioning. Every single period I get a different set of personalities and a different set of learning methods. Everyone learns differently.

It’s constantly changing.”

Mr. Harrod with a student working on a computerMr. Harrod said he most enjoys helping students to learn difficult concepts and to see the moment when they finally understand.

“They have that lightbulb moment where it’s like, oh, I know exactly what you mean…like, okay, I can do that.”

Mr. Harrod also is happy to see technology and engineering pathways becoming more popular. 

“I think we’re reaching out more and the program is now at the middle schools, so they’re able to see what it’s like,” he said.

As for his future, Mr. Harrod thinks he might eventually want to pursue a counseling career. He knows he wants to be the kind of educator who holds high expectations for his students and hopes his students might one day say of him, “‘Oh, Mr. Harrod – that was the teacher I really enjoyed. He kind of helped me get on track and find out what I really wanted to do.’ That kind of resonates with me a little bit. That’s what I’m shooting for.”

Mr. Kendall said he is not surprised at Jarod’s success so far. 

“I am very proud of all the hard work he has put in, and continues to do so. I always knew he would be a great teacher one day, and it's amazing to have him as a peer.  We are very fortunate to have him on our team.”