Bonjour, Mr. Fertil


Mr. Fertil teaching his French students.

By Carolina Soto, Staff Writer

Walk into room 3122, and you’ll most likely hear the phrase, “Bonjour! Comment allez-vous?” You’ll see colorful, eye-catching posters done by students, and most definitely you’ll meet the one and only Mr. Fertil, the only French teacher at Miami High.


Life at Miami High

Mr. Fertil has been teaching at Miami High for eight years. He came to Miami High in 2010 to teach just for a few months, and during that time he was also a professor at Miami Dade College. He left Miami High but ended up coming back the following year, 2011 to officially start working full time.

As an adjunct professor at Miami Dade College, he taught education courses and college survival. What made him decide to teach French to students was being taught and growing up with the language his whole life due to being a French native speaker and always having a love for the language.

For as long as he is teaching, he wants to make the language appealing to students that are willing to learn it. The best part about teaching at Miami High has always been the great staff, students that are ready to learn, and how it is a great teaching environment to be in.

He loves everything about it. “There has never been a day in my life when I got up and never wanted to teach. I love teaching at Miami high,” he said.

The worst part about being a teacher to him would be when he teaches and students are not getting what he is teaching. He always questions himself if students are getting it.

Although he knows it’s not easy, he knows every student has different ways of learning, so he always tries his best to add in different ways of teaching to students.

What he feels the proudest of in his career of teaching foreign language is being able to help students learn a different language that isn’t easy, yet with determination, they do. He hopes to teach until he retires and to advance in the teaching profession either by going back to school or maybe even becoming an administrator because, to him, it is always OK to be versatile in life.



Many students love Mr. Fertil’s way of teaching French. Sophomore Amanda Luis said that it is easy to learn and comprehend in his class because he makes sure everyone is on the same track and no one is lost.

Freshman Gabriela Altamirano likes the amount of patience Mr. Fertil has when it comes to understanding students at their own pace of learning.

“He sees potential in every one of us. Even if we aren’t doing our best, he gives us a lot of courage to keep on going if we’re reading in French,” said sophomore Leyla Rodriguez.


“There has never been a day in my life when I got up and never wanted to teach. I love teaching at Miami High,” said Mr. Fertil.


Growing Up

Born and raised in St. Louis, Haiti, Mr. Fertil feels very fortunate to have had a very good childhood with a huge, loving family of mom and dad with eight siblings. As a child Mr. Fertil’s dream career was to be a lawyer because of the success that came from becoming one.

Mr. Fertil attended the high school “Tertaliun Gul Band”, graduating in 1986.    Growing up in the 60’s and 70’s, Mr. Fertil said all students of St. Louis grew up to have a lot of respect for their teachers.

As a student, Fertil would describe himself as very disciplined with average grades in academics. His favorite subject has always been French, which is like the English we study in the U.S.

Mr. Fertil was part of his high school soccer team, which was one of his best childhood memories. He has been playing soccer all his life, a hobby that he fell in love with and was good at it since the first day he was introduced to the sport.


Life After High school

After high school Mr. Fertil decided to come over to the United States and start a life of his own. The hardest thing he had to ever overcome in his life was the transition of leaving his country and coming to the States. Although it wasn’t easy and tough to adjust to, he managed to get the hang of it with all his effort and hard work.

His very first job when he came to the States was working at a restruant. Before he ever considered teaching, he worked with the State of Florida’s Department of Children and Family Services. He did not go straight to college right after graduating high school due to wanting to start his life here in the States first.

When he finally had adjusted to the transition, he decided to go to night school and then go over to Miami Dade College for two years before transfering over to FIU’s School of Arts and Sciences to become a foreign language teacher, which took him five years in total.


“He sees potential in every one of us. Even if we aren’t doing our best, he gives us a lot of courage to keep on going if we’re reading in French,” said Sophomore Leyla Rodriguez.


Life Outside of School

Mr. Fertil’s life outside of school is full of love and care. He is married and has three daughters, ages 13, 14, and 19. His favorite types of music include Classic Rock, Reggae, Gospel and Rap, “as long as it’s good music.”

He likes to spend his free time mostly with family, friends, and cooking. The person he admires most in his life would be his wife.

One skill he would like to learn more of is computer technology because of it being the future and what people are most dependent on.

His summer vacations mostly include him working and then traveling on cruises with his family and visiting the Caribbean. Mr. Fertil’s dream vacation would have to be one day traveling to Paris with his wife and daughters.

One hidden talent few in his life know of is that he can sing if he really puts the time to it. If he were to ever give up teaching, he would most likely go into business because of the benefit that it comes from owning a business and being his very own boss.