One of the gifts that Facebook has given me is the opportunity to get to know how truly special some people are from my past, to learn about a side of them that I never saw when we were growing up. One of those people is Mike Scheele. His father was one of my teachers at Wyoming High School, and the school’s tennis coach but I only really knew Mike as a boy I thought was cute but never spoke to.
If it weren’t for Facebook, I would never have known that Mike was adopted, that he struggled with shyness because of a learning disorder, and that he has this magnificent heart for empowering and rising young minds of kids with their own set of differences.
Mike recently shared a story with us of one little boy in particular who was not achieving in school and his family asked Mike to help their son…which Mike has done in a big way.
In Mike’s career, he taught special education in Tampa, Florida, and was named Teacher of the Year in 2000 as ALL of his students advanced to the ninth grade. These days he teaches English conversation skills to adults who do not speak fluent English, and reading to that little boy who has dyslexia and a brain injury. “I’m just honored they asked me to help their son. He calls me MAX, don’t know why but I love taking on Mike “Max” Scheele,” he told me.
The next year he began teaching at Riverview High School where he also announced all sports events on campus and emceed all sports banquets. He even coached tennis for a year, following in his dad’s footsteps.
It was at Riverview where Mike taught Kaycie Maines (now 30) television production and was the voice of her Lady Sharks softball team. By the way, Kaycie was a two-time state champ and a ten-time national champion. “He is one of the most enthusiastic people I know,” she said. “Mr. Scheele taught me to be the best that I can be and to reach for my full potential no matter how many times I might fail. I live by this daily, and because of him, I am a successful, strong and independent woman. He always said to just ‘be you’.”
When he is told how lucky his students are for having him come into their lives, Mike will tell you, “I am the fortunate one.”
In Mike’s Own Words…
“I flunked 3rd grade because I read from left to right. Mrs. Taylor, one of my teachers at Vermont Elementary School in Wyoming caught it and saved my life. It was full dyslexia. My parents got me a reading coach. Learning became fun once I learned how to read. The rest is history. I earned my bachelor’s degree in science education with a minor in special education. I love to read, love to have conversations with strangers and to public speak at school banquets and awards nights.”