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Luke Feierabend chosen as educator of the month

Name: Luke Feierabend

Years teaching in Monticello: 17 Years

Tell us a little about yourself

The students tell me I’m a goofball and I found embracing that works. Thus, Mr. Feierabend (which is pronounced FEER-bend even though the tossed aside German pronunciation should be FIRE-ah-bend) has accepted the moniker of FeierDaddy Diesel Power. In my current role, I wear lots of hats. I call myself an Educational Technologies Specialist. I oversee the library, help students with chromebooks/software, advise the Monti Media Productions club, provide ed tech training to staff, manage tech resources throughout campus, serve as a conduit from MHS to the IT Department and occasionally teach a couple of classes. I also coach middle school football and operate as an adjunct instructor for the Education Department at the College of Saint Benedict. Previously, I spent 13 years teaching 8th Grade Global Studies at MMS.

I was fortunate to grow up, in Brainerd, in the midst of a loving family that valued positivity, healthy relationships and hard-work. Family is my greatest love. My parents are my heroes and my brother is my best man. My wife, Jenn (a Becker Middle School teacher) is not only my spouse, but the person I most love adventuring with. We have 3 sons, Rylan (14), Camden (13) and Quinten (8) and we laugh daily. My hobbies include socializing, traveling, camping, spectating any sport, fishing, concert-going, and watching movies. I also have strong passions for video-editing, world geography and home improvement projects.

Why did you choose the teaching profession?

I’m blessed to have around 50 first cousins and we were all pretty tight. At some point, I learned that I enjoyed making my younger cousins laugh and giggle. My 9th grade science teacher, Mr. Ron Gibertson suggested that I should consider the education field for some reason, but my father owned a rapidly growing construction company that I was keen to join. During my freshman year at Saint John’s University, I realized construction was not going to keep me content. I reflected upon my experiences with younger people and Mr. Gilbertson’s suggestion, so I took a field experience education course in a middle school classroom. Quickly, I realized I enjoyed helping children and making them laugh. Throughout my career, I’ve been able to do that everyday. I have the best job in the world!

What is the best thing about teaching in Monticello?

The best thing about teaching in Monti has to be building relationships with students and staff that transcend the confines of the campus. I’m not certain the general public understands that teachers become very close… like family. Some of my closest friends are the people I work alongside. We all feel that we are, ourselves, the Monti Magic. We look out for each other’s students and biological families. We wear all of the Monti gear and give everything we have to make this community solid. I feel a sense of pride when I reminisce about the community and family atmosphere that my peers and I have worked very hard to create. It takes a village to raise these kids up right. Monticello has a strong village.

What is your proudest moment as a teacher?

Working on my 8th grade team for 13 years was amazing as we helped kids navigate early adolescence. However, I’m most proud of the Monti Media Productions team that I have created with the students over the past 4 years at MHS. We have an organization… a team of students... that serves an essential role in our community. They produce YouTube videos of student news, entertainment pieces, live sporting events and graduation ceremonies. If this club didn’t exist, there would be students that wouldn’t have a group they could call their own. Plus, these kids get to explore their technology passion and that is so, so, so exciting. I’m thankful our administration has allowed me the resources and time to work on this project.

What advice would you give a young adult who is thinking about a teaching career?

This profession is very demanding. You have to work harder than you imagine. However, it is tremendously rewarding too and it is great for raising a family.  In this profession, you cannot make millions of dollars, but you can have millions of laughs and positive memories. If I were starting in the education field right now, I would explore Tech Ed. There are not enough teachers in that arena and a candidate could have their pick of location. Teaching requires problems solving, empathy, patience, listening skills, and a passion for learning. It’s the greatest occupation in the world and I’m proud to be an EMM member.