Thank you Mr. VanGiesen for all you do!
Tell us about your family.
I am married to my awesome wife, Melissa. We have 2 children: Luci, 8 and Frankie, 6 and 2 very spoiled boxers: Dax, 11 and Dallas, 3.
What is your educational background?
B.A. Physical Education with K-12 Certification (Blackburn College)
M.A. Educational Administration (S.I.U.E.)
What classes do you currently teach?
I am currently the Assistant Principal at HJHS.
How long have you been teaching?
I am finishing up my 14th year in education.
What other work experiences have you had before you work at HJHS?
High School: Worked on farms during the summer months
College: Stripped and waxed floors and worked as the Resident Director of my dormitory
After College: Taught 1 year of physical education in Milford, IL
What is your favorite class to teach and why?
Weight training: It takes a ton of hard work, is fun to teach proper technique in the olympic lifts and awesome seeing kids succeed!
What is your one must-have item in your classroom?
Stopwatch: I have to time those 10 second rest breaks during fitness days.
What is your teaching motto?
Never quit on yourself!
What or whom made you want to become a teacher?
Mr. Rich Stewart: He was my weight training mentor, as well as my football and baseball coach in high school.
Mr. David Powell: He was my teacher and football coach in high school.
Both of these men influenced my decision to become an educator. I learned so much from them about dedication, perseverance and work ethic.
What were your favorite subjects and least favorite subjects in school?
Favorite: Weight training, Math and English.
Least Favorite: Science and Social Studies.
Tell us your most embarrassing story?
If you had to get a different job, what would it be and why?
Illinois State Police Officer: The work these men and women do on a day to day basis has always been fascinating to me. Another way to serve people and the communities we live in.
What is the toughest aspect of teaching today?
All the mandates and changes handed down from the state and federal level.
Please give a “shout out” to someone who inspires you to become better and/or stay strong and state why this person.
MaG a.k.a My Mom: The greatest person I have ever met; has always inspired me to be the best person I can be because I have never wanted to disappoint her.
My Wife, Melissa: for all the love and support she provides me each and everyday; she is my best friend.
What is one of your greatest accomplishments in your life?
With help from my beautiful wife, raising 2 outstanding kids who WILL grow up to be successful, productive citizens and all around really good people!
What are your hobbies or what do you do in your spare time when you are not in the classroom.
I love lifting weights, riding my motorcycle, bowling and spending time with my family!!
What is your favorite thing about teaching?
The kids: building strong, positive relationships built on trust and respect.
If one gets into the profession of teaching for any other reason; he/she is in the wrong business.