Mr. Sparks starts his career at NHS and opens up about life outside of Mr. Houchin’s class


A selfie from Mr. Sparks on a trip in Israel.

Isabella Sparks, Staff Writer

Matthew Sparks is a 24-year-old who has known what his future plans were since he was 15 and has worked towards them since, “Some teachers at NHS really influenced me and helped me enjoy the class.” He graduated from Cal Poly in March 2020 and is working towards his teaching credential. He spent his childhood playing sports and running around Nipomo with his friends. As he got older, he picked up multiple different jobs and is now working at NHS.

 You may know Sparks as a baseball coach, football coach, a student-teacher for Mr. Houchin, a friend, and for me, my brother. You can find him on the NHS campus in room 114 pursuing his goals. Here are the top ten things he cannot live without:


1-2. Movies and sports

Matthew’s favorite form of entertainment is watching movies or sports. “I really like to watch movies. We come from a family that has always watched movies, we had what feels like 500 movies stacked in one room and would watch them as a family quite often.” He also said that he “loves watching sports. Any. I’ll watch a soccer game at 4 am. When you watch you get to shut your brain off. You could watch a 6-hour golf tournament not caring who wins but it’s just a fun mindless activity. It’s a nice activity when you’re not busy.


3. Spice it up

Sparks’ favorite food is, “anything spicy. I’ll eat anything spicy except for cheese. I’ve always hated/never ate cheese. Up until a couple of years ago, I thought all cheeses tasted the same until my old roommate told me.”


4. Company > location

When asking Sparks what his favorite place is, he sat for a bit, thinking, and finally said, “I don’t really have a favorite place, I have favorite people. I could care less about where I am if I have good people with me. I could be in Bakersfield, having a good time just because of the company.”


5. Nicholas Cage.

“Nicholas Cage. That is the easiest question in the world. He’s got range, he’s an Oscar winner, he can lead a whole movie with no lines because his face tells enough, and he’s related to Coppola (the GodFather creator). Easy.”


6. Matching Clothes

Sparks sat and thought about what his favorite thing in fashion is, after a second of thinking he went with, “I just learned how to match my colors like a couple of years ago so as long as they match that’s cool. I also like not wearing the same shoes every day, so as long as it all matches, it’s good.”


7. Outside Lands

“Outside Lands would have to be my favorite festival or event. A musical festival in San Francisco every year. All my college friends meet up and go. It’s so significant because we could not talk to each other for a year and February comes around, the drop is posted, and we all ask who’s going. Since graduation, we were all scattered and took different life paths, so It’s nice being able to meet up. Also, the music is great, it’s not like an EDM concert or anything specific, it’s all different artists.”


8-9. Sports and Coaching

You’d think Sparks’ favorite hobby would be sports, but it’s now it’s, “Coaching. When I was in college I did intramural sports but now that I’m not in college I love to coach. It allows me to connect with students outside of the classroom. Everyone acts differently outside of the classroom, teachers, and students, so being able to coach you get to see people in a different light than just student to teacher. Coaching also lets me interact with people who were my coach who are now my colleagues. That was a really cool experience.”


10. Star of David

“About two years ago my brother and a couple of my cousins all went to Israel for our birthright. My most cherished object would have to be the Star of David from Israel. It was a cool experience and I’m not a souvenir guy, but I saw the little star, and it’s cool, a little reminder and nice to have.”