Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Day 147 - Coaching and Subbing at MWHS

Today's post is from 2009 grad Casey Simonson

My name is Casey Simonson and I am nothing less than proud of MWHS and the community in which I reside.

I moved to Mound at the beginning of my 7th grade year, and felt very welcome in the community from day one. I graduated from Mound-Westonka High School in the spring of 2009 and attended Ripon College in Ripon, WI the next fall. While I knew at the time that science was my intended field of study, be it medicine or research, I was swept up in the vastness of the field and unsure of my true calling.

While I attended Ripon, I took as many science courses as I could to satisfy the requirements of my Chemistry-Biology major. At the same time, I was active in the Ripon Wind Ensemble and performed in the occasional theatre & musical production. I even trained for and completed my first half marathon there. I believe it was my time at MWHS that made it feel natural for me to participate in so many extracurricular activities.

During my junior and senior years, I was fortunate to work as a lab assistant for one of my favorite courses, Vertebrate Zoology. I found myself investing nearly as much time towards my job as a lab assistant as I did in some of the classes I was taking. I often went out of my way to access the lab(s) after normal lecture hours, offer additional study sessions, and provide my own insight and knowledge about the lab material. I helped students with detailed dissections of specimens had they asked, and I even wrote a few practice exams to help them prepare for the real thing.

I didn’t care that I sacrificed my own studies (which I still did well in, don’t worry); I learned that I truly wanted to see students succeed & learn in their classes, and I wanted the students themselves to know the material as well as I did. There was a true sense of community that reminded me of my days at MHWS.

Fast forward to post-graduation, and I’m still somewhat in the dark about my future. Having moved back to the area in 2013, I decided to look into working for the Westonka School District. I first coached the JV Boys Soccer team last fall. Next, I got my fingerprints into the system and was ready to work as a short-call substitute teacher. It has easily been one of the best jobs I’ve had, and it couldn’t be more obvious that one big reason is the incredible faculty and staff that have welcomed me (back) with open arms!

I never imagined that be working alongside some of the most admirable teachers I’ve ever had, much less engage in casual conversation with them over lunch! It’s been a joy getting reacquainted with these great mentors and role models. The classroom environment is a setting that I’ve grown to admire and I’ve realized that I belong back in it again.

While I realize I still have a ways to go along this journey, I have MWHS to thank for guiding me and supporting me along the way. Thanks so much for everything you’ve done for me as a former student and a current employee.

Middle School Tennis Team and their Coach Casey

If you have a story that you would like to share, please email mwhspride@277apps.org for more information! We would love to hear from you!

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