Jimmy Bates is looking forward to beginning his teaching career with Ceres Unified School District this fall.
“I’m really excited to be back in the community that gave me so much when I was growing up,” the former Ceres High School multi-sport standout athlete said. “The relationships I had with teachers and coaches put me on the path where I’m at right now. My next step is to get ready for the upcoming school year. I’ll be picking up the keys to my classroom by the end of this week.”
Bates, 24, will teach eighth-grade math at Cesar Chavez Jr. High School.
He will also help coach varsity football and baseball at Ceres High School.
“Everyone I’ve talked to from Modesto, Turlock and even Merced spoke highly of Ceres Unified,” Bates said. “It’s a great place to be. I had a really good experience as a student. The biggest thing for me is to try to be an ambassador for the kids. I’m going to do my best to make an impact in any way I can.”
The 2020-21 school year is slated to begin next month with COVID-19 preventive measures in place to support the health and safety of students, staff and families.
Online instruction will also be offered as a home-based alternative to school during the coronavirus pandemic.
“They’re moving forward with several different plans,” Bates said. “They’ll make the best decision for the best interest of the students.”
Bates was a long-term substitute teacher at Central Valley High School during the 2019-20 school year.
He taught Math II for sophomores for six weeks on campus before all schools in Stanislaus County switched to online learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He was also an assistant baseball coach with the crosstown-rival Bulldogs.
“That was a great experience,” he said. “I was in the same classroom for an extended period of time. That furthered my want to teach. I’ve enjoyed the process so far.”
Bates earned his master’s degree in education with an emphasis in Intercollegiate Athletic Leadership from the University of Washington in June of 2019.
He completed the program in one year.
“I was lucky enough to land an internship with the UW softball program,” he said.
Jimmy reunited with his younger sibling Sis.
Jimmy and Sis both filled integral roles as the third-ranked Huskies compiled a 52-9 overall record, advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Division-I Women’s College World Series and tied for first in the Pac-12 standings (20-4).
Jimmy was a graduate manager.
Sis batted leadoff and starred at shortstop.
Jimmy and Sis were both awarded Pac-12 championship rings.
“It was such a fun experience,” he said. “We lived together. We were at the field every day together.”
Bates received a bachelor’s degree in business from UC Irvine in 2018.
He graduated from Ceres High School in 2014.
He was named Bulldog Male Athlete of the Year.
He earned six varsity letters during his prep athletic career, including three in baseball, two in basketball and one in football.
Bates, a standout batter and infielder in baseball, was selected to the Western Athletic Conference First Team his senior year.
He helped lead the Bulldogs (23-7, 11-1) to their first league title since 1991 and fourth consecutive Sac-Joaquin Section playoff appearance.
He batted .378 with two triples, two doubles, 10 RBIs, 13 runs and one stolen base in conference play.
Bates contributed at multiple positions in football as a senior.
He caught 10 passes for 116 yards and two touchdowns, completed 3 of 7 passes for 41 yards and two TDs and rushed for 31 yards on 11 carries.
He registered 20 tackles and recovered one fumble.
The Bulldogs compiled a 2-8 record.
Jimmy totaled 54 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in 23 games for Ceres High’s boys basketball team (13-13, 5-7) in 2013-14.
He also represented Ceres High at the WAC Scholar Athlete of the Year banquet.
Bates had a cumulative GPA of 4.083.
Bates attended Mae Hensley Jr. High and Carroll Fowler Elementary in Ceres.