Guillermo Zepeda

Guillermo “Bill” Zepeda is an English as Second Language and Spanish professor at South Mountain Community College. Zepeda also worked at Berlitz School of Languages. He is passionate about music and spirituality. Zepeda also got interested with official government documents including the Declaration of Independence. In the time span of two years Zepeda eventually memorized it word for word and presents it at public meetings.

n.d. ca 1989. Guillermo “Bill” Zepeda. Image provided by South Mountain Community College

Zepeda was born in Tijuana, Mexico. His parents were circus performers so he traveled across many parts of Mexico including Mexico City. As a young kid Bill was living a good life until his parents got divorced. Since Bill wanted to be a cowboy, he followed in his dad’s footsteps and migrated to El Paso, Texas. Zepeda started grammar school at the age of six in the United States. Zepeda was put in an English Program in first grade. He later studied at Grand Canyon University to become a teacher. Zepeda also went to Fort Worth, Texas to get his masters degree in church music.

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Zepeda came to South Phoenix to help his dad with personal life problems. It was then, Bill believes that Christ came into his life and gave him more focus to start teaching and get an education. He started working at Rio Salado teaching ESL. He then started working at South Mountain Community College teaching ESL and GED. Eventually Bill started teaching Spanish at SMCC in 1989.

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Zepeda faced many challenges including growing up with divorced parents, traveling so much due to his dad not having a stable job, and migrating into the United States not knowing English. After Zepeda found Christ in his life, it led him to the teaching industry and had to restart his education in Arizona.

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Zepeda loves teaching and he loves working with students. Teaching for Bill is an adventure. Around campus Zepeda is known as a “super fan”. When asked why he’s so supportive of the team, Zepeda reflects back in an event in 1996 when two baseball players were tragically killed in an accident on the way to a baseball game. Since then, Zepeda is a frequent fan at games. He often comes prepared with snacks and drinks for the team before games.

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Zepeda is an inspirational person. During his time at SMCC, he influenced students to grow and take on new challengers and perspectives. He feels devoted to the campus and its programs. Along with being a “super fan,” he also sings annually in the school’s famed Handel’s Messiah performance. But it is his bond with the baseball team that inspires dozens of students every year. Some players comment that he demonstrates the difference from having no motivation to full commitment.

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NarratorGuillermo “Bill” Zepeda
Place of OriginTijuana, Mexico
Place of ResidencePhoenix, Arizona
OccupationEnglish as Second Language and Spanish Professor at South Mountain Community College
Years Active in South Phoenix
Recording Duration36:28
DateSeptember 19, 2019
LocationSouth Mountain Community Library
Interviewed ByStudent Researchers: Dustin Bermudez & Mason Skaugrud
Story Written ByStudent Researchers: Dustin Bermudez & Mason Skaugrud