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|10-26-02: It's a small world after
|Celina teacher enjoys change from teens to earlier ages
By SHELLEY GRIESHOP
The Daily Standard
What a difference a year can make.
Mike Hyland has spent most of his teaching, coaching and administrative
career handling teens with raging hormones and everything else that comes along when you
surround yourself with high schoolers.
This year, things are different. Runny noses and toothless grins
greet Hyland each day at Immaculate Conception (IC) School in Celina, where he
became the new elementary physical education teacher in August.
"I can't say enough good things about him," said school
Principal Kathy Mescher. "Most of the kids think he's pretty cool because they know
he used to be a high school teacher."
The kids also are impressed by Hyland's gender, Mescher said laughing.
The last male to hold a teaching or administrative position at the school was more than 11
years ago, she said.
"The kids were beginning to think all teachers are women,"
Hyland, 57, retired from Celina City Schools on December 31, 2001,
after spending much of his career there as a teacher, athletic director and truant
officer. He majored in physical education and health in college but hadnšt taught
elementary-aged students since 1967 when he took a job at a school in Lancaster.
"Elementary phys ed has changed a lot since '69," Hyland said
with a grin. The different tools used today to teach younger kids coordination are new to
Hyland, he said. He's relied on advice from other elementary teachers to help guide him
with his new, much smaller students.
"Young kids are much more advanced today, more active. And they
don't talk back like the older kids," he said.
At IC, there are no locker rooms and less equipment and space than
Hyland was used to at other public schools, but he is adjusting, he said.
"I found out there was a vacant, grassy lot nearby that Celina
Insurance (Group) offered to let us use," he said excitedly. "It's only a
three-minute walk from school, and it sure saves a lot of scraped knees from the
During a recent afternoon class, Hyland strolled down to the makeshift
soccer field, ducking frequently, as a group of third-graders scurried back and forth
"I feel like their grandfather sometimes," he said.
"Their parents, many of my former students, still say 'Hi coach' when they see
Hyland said he took the part-time job at IC at the urging of his wife,
Diane. Following his retirement, the pair wrestled for the television remote when Diane
arrived home from work on her lunch break. "All My Children" won out over
"ESPN" when Hyland applied for the teaching position, he said with a laugh.
Hyland said he worked with a lot of neat kids and staff members during
his 28 years at Celina High School and expects his time at IC to be equally wonderful. The
kids at IC already think he's pretty wonderful.
"He likes to play sports and so do I," said third-grader
Anna Stammen said she really likes physical education class because
Hyland is a funny guy. Like Moeder, Caroline Hinders takes her sports seriously. After
catching her breath on the field, she shared her impression of the new teacher.
"He's got a lot of experience and he knows the rules," said
the freckle-faced girl.
The eagerness shown by the younger students is what amazes Hyland and
keeps him on his toes, he said. No matter what he tells them to do, they're ready to go.
"I could say we're going to play 'sump pump,' or any made-up or
imaginary game I can think of, and they'd be jumping up and down with their hands
waving," he said. "They're just great."
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