Teachers share their experiences teaching and coaching

Cheyenne Greathouse, staff writer

Michael Pangborn

Teaching math hadn’t become a thought when Michael Pangborn decided he wanted to coach baseball. An opportunity arose for him to teach and coach at the same school and it has been a supplement to his coaching since.

When Pangborn was young, he got involved with baseball and has loved it since. He played all four years of high school and then played three years at Beloit College in Wisconsin. Pangborn decided to become a coach because of his passion to see athletes overcome a problem they have struggled with.

“Being able to talk them through or work with them — to get them to a point where they’re being successful on a consistent basis is my motivation,” Pangborn said.

As a teacher and coach, Pangborn deals with a lot of failures and successes in the classroom and on the field, and having to teach students how to deal with those situations. He is teaching his students and players how to do this in hopes they will continue to use it throughout their lives.

“Having coach Pangborn as a coach is really fun,” sophomore Nick Allen said. “He doesn’t just teach us how to play baseball, he gives us life lessons that are really useful.”

Being a coach has brought Pangborn closer to his players that will hopefully last throughout high school and afterward because he enjoys coaching all his students. He wants to build strong relationships with his players because when everyone is comfortable with each other then they play as a team.

“I always see him in the halls and never not say hi,” Allen said. “I feel like we have a strong connection, but he has strong connections with every baseball player, too.”

The biggest thing Pangborn tries to teach his players is how to overcome adversity and be able to play as a team. If his players are able to understand how to deal with adversity and apply that knowledge, then Pangborn hopes they can apply it to the real world when they start finding jobs and doing things on their own.

During school, Pangborn has a laid-back demeanor and often takes it onto the field because he knows the players will ultimately listen to him, even if they are having fun. He sees a lot more personalities in school than he sees outside of school because in school, some kids want to be there and some kids don’t want to be there. Students won’t always listen during school, but every player on the team listens because every single player has to earn a spot.

“On the baseball field, everyone is there with a common goal,” Pangborn said. “They want to be there and they want to play baseball.”

Shari Schaake

Aspark of curiosity that developed into a passion. This is how it started for counselor and head coach of the softball team Shari Schaake.

As a little girl, Schaake strived to do it all. When she got involved in softball, she was immediately hooked. Schaake began to get involved with coaching little children and after that experience, she knew she always wanted to be involved in softball.

“All those memories were so fun and so amazing all the way through college,” Schaake said. “And even now, every year that I am coaching, I build more and more relationships with the kids.”

Softball paid her way through college, where she played all four years at Baker University. Other than being the softball coach, she is also a counselor here where she spends everyday talking to students about many different things.

Schaake said she got involved with counseling because it has always been her first love, but she’s always had a passion for athletics.

“It’s what you do with that inside passion,” Schaake said. “It’s kind of an extra way to show my inside self.”

Every year, Schaake builds more and more relationships with students on and off the field. Being able to coach has also given her the opportunity to bond with her players.

“I would say the biggest benefit of having Schaake with me is that if I ever need someone to talk to,” senior varsity player Riley Swickard said. “Whether it’s about softball or simply life help I know she’s just a short walk down the hall from me.”

Being able to teach and coach has opened Schaake to seeing students in a different realm. As a counselor, she experiences different types of conversations than she would on the field. Either way, it’s an opportunity for Schaake to continue building relationships with her students and athletes.

“One-on-one with a counselor is one thing; to have discussions is totally different,” Schaake said. “But to go out and watch a team perform and execute together and to be a part of that is awesome.”

Schaake said she wants everyone to experience something amazing. Her coaching side wants every player to know the varsity experience and a game-winning hit, but it’s not realistic.

“There are tough calls to be made every day” Schaake said. “But, the main goal for the players is to get something out of it and that they enjoy it.”

She says being able to develop healthy relationships in a teamwork environment is a positive thing, even when it comes down to a difficult situation.

“You can just cut loose and have fun playing a sport everyone loves to play,” Schaake said. “And it’s an opportunity to hangout whenever the weather is nice and get a little dirty. It’s awesome.”