Leaving Legacies

Veteran coaches decide to hang up their whistles

Wrayna Howell, Staff Writer

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For 29 years MN has had the same boys soccer coach. For 20 years MN has had the same girls track coach. This year boys soccer coach Bill Cunningham and girls track coach Mindy Reed will retire at the end of the year.
Cunningham has been the boys varsity soccer coach and has also taught both Japanese and Spanish. Interacting with students is an everyday joy that always encouraged him to try his best.
“In my entire career I never forgot what it was like to be a teenager. It’s easy to take the ‘been there, done that’ road, but to actually be engaged in the everyday things that your students face is a little harder to do. I realize that as simple as things may seem, they are experiencing this for the first time. Helping them get through tough times is one of the greatest parts about being a teacher,” Cunningham said.
As for Reed, the girls varsity track coach for 20 years, she wants her students to gain the strength to persevere through any obstacle they may have in their life.
“Every student has issues no matter what and developing healthy habits and exercising helps you to deal with the stress you have. I want to empower children and help them to know that if they need to get out of a tough situation, they have the strength to do that,” Reed said.
Even after all of the years of coaching, the reason these coaches continue is because of the students themselves.
“It’s amazing how often students remind you of why you’re here and it’s amazing to see that students are understanding of what you’re going through. If I’m going through something and it shows in my performance as a teacher, my students are understanding and help me to not get too overwhelmed,” Cunningham said.
After more than 40 years of teaching and coaching combined, both Reed and Cunningham have made huge impacts at this school. From being in the classroom to connecting with students, to the field where they work tirelessly to help their players be the best they can be, they have touched the lives of many students. Though both Reed and Cunningham are sad to be leaving MN, they both have big plans for the future.
“I’m excited to take a break and travel with my wife and spend time with my family. I am also studying for the highest Japanese fluency level for foreigners. I’ve already gotten all the supplies in order to study for it and now I have the time to do it,” Cunningham said.
Reed plans to catch up with her family and volunteer with more leisure time.
“I’m ready to be with my grandkids who live six hours away. With my daughter being a social worker, I want to be available to help her in an emergency. I also want to catch up with my mother-in-law and do some volunteering at Children’s Hospital,” Reed said.
Both Reed and Cunningham love the engagement they have with their students. They are amazed at the perseverance, compassion and the level of understanding that their students have, which is what they will both miss the most.

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Leaving Legacies