Monday, June 17

UCLA alum, math teacher killed by drunk driver

For as long as his family can remember, UCLA alumnus Christopher
Alfama had wanted to be a teacher. He even relocated and pursued
his dream in San Mateo.

But on Monday, May 31, his dream came to an abrupt halt as the
26-year-old was killed in a hit-and-run drunken driving accident on
Highway 101 in Sunnyvale, not far from his residence.

Alfama entered UCLA as a transfer student and received his
bachelor’s degree in 2000 and master’s in 2001.

After UCLA, Alfama’s dream of becoming a teacher took him
to Northern California, where he taught geometry and algebra at
Hillsdale High School.

The move to Northern California only intensified Alfama’s
love for his favorite baseball team, the Los Angeles Dodgers.

His mother, Sandy, explained the rivalry between Alfama and his
students when it came to baseball and remembers hearing stories
about students writing “Dodgers suck” on the board.

“He was an unbelievable young man … and he was a true
Bruin,” Sandy said.

“He always wanted to come here … it was his dream from
the day he understood what college was,” she added.

He was also a member of both UCLA Yell Crew and Cheer Squad and
made many friends through his love for UCLA sports.

Sean Wang became friends with Alfama through attending numerous
spring sporting events.

Wang remembers standing in front of the crowd alongside the yell
crew at a UCLA women’s basketball game.

Alfama had allowed Wang to join them in the front, so that he
could cheer the team on from the sidelines.

After graduation, Alfama stayed involved with the UCLA spirit
squad and also coached the cheerleading squad at his high

“He never called them “˜students’ … he called
them “˜his kids,’” Sandy said.

In his memorial, a Chris Alfama scholarship fund is being
established, and donations can be sent to Hillsdale High School in
San Mateo.

“He was a legend already,” though he had yet to
complete his third full year as a teacher, said Hillsdale Dean of
Students Rich Mazzoncini in an interview with the San Francisco
Examiner. “If this tragedy hadn’t happened, this guy
would have been our most popular teacher ever.”

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on Google+Share on Reddit

Comments are supposed to create a forum for thoughtful, respectful community discussion. Please be nice. View our full comments policy here.