John Borsum flies with numbers


Mr.Borsum’s life consists of teaching mathematics and flying planes.


Trevor Atamian, cub writer 

A lot of teachers live basic lives with school as a priority in their lives. Some teachers do more than teach. One of those teachers is John Borsum, a mathematics teacher who is also a pilot in his free time.

Borsum has been licensed as a pilot for seven years.

“It wasn’t until then that I had both the time and the money to train to be a pilot,” Borsum said.

Being a private pilot with an instrument rating means that he can’t switch into piloting without more experience. He only has a few hundred hours flying which isn’t enough, according to Borsum.

“One must have much more flying experience to become a full pilot,” Borsum said.

Borsum has the problem of being able to fly during his spare time. During the school year Borsum’s problem is more difficult as school takes most of his time to be able to fly.

“That actually is a problem (about his time). Although I have always tried to fly at least twice each month, I have found it to be more difficult to find the time, lately,” Borsum said.

The thought of being a pilot full time has never crossed Borsum’s mind. Being a mathematics teacher was what he wanted to be ever since he was in the 8th Grade.

“When I was junior at Millikan High School, I came to a basketball game that was part of the Beverly Hills Tournament. Sitting in the swim gym, while watching my school win the tournament, I decided that I would teach at Beverly Hills High School,” Borsum said.

Borsum used to drive over to Long Beach Airport to watch airplanes land. That was an inspiration for his determination to be a licensed pilot. According to Borsum, it appears that fewer than 0.1 percent of the U.S. population are pilots.

“I think I wanted myself to work for something that very few others have achieved,” said Borsum.

Borsum’s students have known about him being a pilot. Will Kim, a freshman Algebra student of Borsum, doesn’t care if Borsum is spending some of his spare time to fly. Being a pilot doesn’t keep Kim from understanding Algebra, according to Kim.

“It doesn’t really affect the way he teaches us,” Kim said.

Borsum’s career of teaching will not be taking a turn towards piloting because of his dedication to mathematics ever since the 8th Grade. Kim feels that his piloting doesn’t affect his teaching and therefore makes no difference in his limit to get a full understanding of his

Algebra course. Borsum’s background of being a licensed pilot has made the meaning of “more than teaching” even clearly because not only is he using his spare time to do hobbies but one of those hobbies is piloting. Mathematics has made Borsum’s career but aside from school he spends his time in the sky.