Teachers Beyond the Classroom

BY Michelle Stover

                You see your teachers daily, but do you truly see their unique talents? Many Fort LeBoeuf teachers excel in talents and hobbies beyond the classroom.

Mr. Burkhart, Physical Education teacher, not only coaching with McDowell wrestling team, but he also wrestled when he was in school. His wrestling career first began in 5th grade when his father influenced him to become a wrestler and work hard.

Wrestling was a bit of a challenge due to being on a diet and staying in shape. With dedication and training, Mr. Burkhart managed to place in the junior high states. In high school, he won a state championship.

From being on the mats to teaching students techniques, Mr. Burkhart’s wrestling accomplishments are extensive. Through Mr. Burkharts perspective, coaching seems to be more of a challenge than being a wrestler because in coaching there are more people you need to worry about. His goal of coaching is to get the fundamentals across to student athletes, teach character, a winning attitude and sportsmanship.

            Mr. Maynard may be a funny and positive teacher, but when it comes to writing, he gets down to business. Over the past seven years Mr. Maynard has been writing poetry. He mostly writes about feelings, thoughts, and funny experiences in a free verse format. He likes to write poetry about love, beauty, and politics.  

He gets his inspiration from current events, people in his life, but it just truly depends on his mood. He says, “Whenever ideas come to mind, I make sure to write it down.”  Through his writing he is able to release thoughts and emotions and entertain people as much as possible.

             Mrs. Proctor started playing soccer in elementary school. It was a part of her life for 15 years. She was a defensive player, but she played wherever the help was needed. In college she played midfield and defense and was an all conference player.

She enjoyed playing soccer and being a part of a team. Not only did she play on the soccer field, but she also played basketball and ran track for three years. She ran the 800, 400, 3,200 relay, 1,600 relay and occasionally the mile. She was a 2-time state medalist in Track and Field. The most difficult part about track, at first, was trying to hit a certain times, but her sister pushed her along the way and was a big influence. Now, Mrs. Proctor inspires FLB athletes in her ninth year coaching Cross County.

            “Strike” is probably one of Mr. Shady’s favorite words; since he did get a 300 – a perfect game in bowling. Mr. Shady has been bowling for 44 years. Using a 16 pound bowling ball, Mr. Shady spends his time at the Rolling Meadow Lanes.

He has had the opportunity to travel to different countries for competitions, such as Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, Finland, Canada and Mexico. He has won Professional, National, and one World Championship in the sport of bowling.

Additionally, he was an All-American for the University of Nebraska three times and won a National Collegiate Championship. He also earned an athletic scholarship while at the University of Nebraska. Quite a list of accomplishments!

            Ever since Ms. Soltesz could walk, she has been hooked on riding horses. Both her mother and Godmother had trail-riding horses, so she was instantly interested and influenced. She got her first horse at five years old. Ms. Soltesz has two horses, one thoroughbred named Big Baby, a former racehorse, which she uses for completions.

            She participates in a sport called Eventing that is made up of three phases: Dressage, Show Jumping, and Cross Country. It’s like a triathlon for horses. Her training exercises are three different phases that take several months to complete but, she focuses on improvement throughout the long process. This summer she was most proud of winning 2nd place at the EHSC mini Trials and 1st place at a Dressage show. Ms. Soltesz has had many accidents. She has had several concussions, bruised lungs, cracked ribs, and broken legs, but, she manages to get back on and continue with her passion.

These are only examples of a few teachers with unique abilities and skills. Take the time to get to know your teachers and their unique abilities and skills.