Kelley takes the wheel

Story by Ian Sullivan

After 23 years of teaching, Darin Kelley decided to make a change. After primarily teaching classes in the Physical Education department like health, PE and sports, Kelley switched to Driver’s Education.

“I enjoyed teaching health and PE classes and felt they were important classes in education,” Kelley said. 

With Kelley no longer in the role, Jose Speer replaced him as the PE and health teacher.

“I just showed him and shared with him my teaching material. I let him know what I would probably change with some of the material,” Kelley said. “I also let him know if he needed anything he could ask me, I think he will be a very good teacher.”

According to Kelley, driver’s education is an important topic to teach as well.

“A lot of students want to drive and the majority of people in the United States do drive, so it is important to teach them how to drive correctly so that they can be safe drivers.”

After discussions with the former driver’s education instructor, Ben Bernhardt, Kelley decided to take on his new role. 

“I thought a change would be good. Coach Bernhardt started talking to me three years ago about taking over the driver’s education program when he retired,” Kelley said. “So I got my certification to teach driver’s education and took over the program.”

Although it is a new experience for Kelley, he likes it.

“I am enjoying teaching driver’s ed. I haven’t been teaching it that long but I do like the fact that I get to be out of the building and riding along with students as they learn to drive,” Kelley said.

Kelley believes that his relationships with his students and former students are what he enjoys about teaching. 

“My favorite part about teaching is building relationships and I can do that no matter what classes I teach,” Kelley said. “I feel you have to form relationships with your students in order to earn trust and confidence.”

According to Kelley, each of his students has a unique story..

“I feel that everybody has a story… so I feel people should listen and find out others’ stories and where they come from,” Kelley said. “I don’t necessarily ask a student their life story but I want to know enough about them that we can have meaningful conversations and I can get to know them, at least a little.”