Poetry in Motion


I have always felt that one of the recurring gifts of teaching was hearing from or about former students who were successful (I even taught and coached with a few). I got a bit of that feeling Sunday morning when I was thumbing through the USA Weekend  insert in our Sunday paper and Spotted the Pittsburgh Steelers’ #34 at the top of a page. In my school, we all knew Rashard Mendenhall was destined for the big time after his first varsity season as a sophomore. And I was fortunate enough to also see his creative side whenever he came into my multimedia lab to work on a video project for a class. What I learned in Sunday morning’s paper is that Rashard (along with a few other prominent athletes) is also a poet and he plans on writing a book. With all the negative publicity pro athletes manage to generate, it’s great to see the positive, less sensational side get some press – especially when it’s someone you know.


  1. Justin Huyett

    It is a shame that more athletes that are positive role models do not get the attention they deserve. To muchh ink is used on the Michael Vicks of the world. Hopefully many students saw the article and got the message that it is ok to be smart and enjoy learning.

  2. Lorra Frese

    I enjoy getting emails from former students and learning how they are doing. It’s great to hear how far they have come since their days in our middle school. There is a former student who recently got recruited to Penn State on a football scholarship. When he was in 8th grade, he was a great student and a wonderful role-model for the other students. I am really looking forward to seeing him play PSU football and seeing the direction his life takes. He has a huge amount of potential and I hope to be able to read a story in the paper like the one described in “Poetry in Motion”.

  3. Pam Moran

    Sports figures are looked up to by many fans young and old. Lately there has been so many negative stories about sports figures. It is sad to think of the mixed signals that children get when they see them act illegally or immorally. These more encouraging stores should grab the spotlight just as much. I have a former student that I keep in touch with. She is now in Afghanistan and is almost done with her 4 year commitment. It is nice to see how former students grow and succeed. In a way we feel that maybe we had a bit of influence along the way. One of the rewards of teaching.

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