I recently sat down with Mr. Michael Gill to talk with him about his new position as the Physical Education teacher at Blessed Sacrament School. Mr. Gill comes to Blessed Sacrament School with 30 years of teaching experience in the Holyoke Public Schools teaching not only in the area of physical education, but at one point he was the Adaptive Special Education teacher for the district. Mr. Gill was approached about the position at Blessed Sacrament shortly after retirement from the Holyoke Public Schools. He decided to take the position after touring the school and meeting with the staff. Mr. Gill says he has been touched by the warm welcome from the staff, students and parents at Blessed Sacrament. It is a joy and a privilege for him to teach our students.
Mr. Gill played basketball and soccer in college at Fitchburg State University. After college, he has also had a variety of coaching positions in such sports as volleyball, basketball, youth soccer and unified track to name a few. These coaching positions were not just in Holyoke, but also in surrounding communities. He has recently coached Girls basketball in Southwick.
Mr. Gill recalled one of his early days at Blessed Sacrament School to me. He went to pick up a class at the Primary building. The students would not open the door for him because the rule was not to open the door for anyone. Their attention to the rule impressed him.
The foundation of his Physical Education program at Blessed Sacrament School is STEM (Sportsmanship, Teamwork, Effort and Manners.) In Grades PreK, 1 and 2, they play cooperative games and work on taking turns and following directions. With the older students, he has them work in teams. He often incorporates both popular and nostalgic music into the workout routines.
Mr. Gill’s wife, Geralyn, who is originally from South Hadley, attended Catholic schools. She is a nurse at Baystate Medical Center. They have two children, Brendan and Courtney. He coached some of his children’s sport teams during their childhood. Mr. Gill says that he always told his children to dream big and follow their dreams. And guess what? They did just that. Brendan works for Entertainment Tonight behind the scenes and Courtney works at Mystic Aquarium as a sea lion trainer. He and his wife currently reside in Granby.
Mr. Gill loves all the Boston sports teams as is apparent by his daily athletic apparel. He is originally from North Quincy which is a city near Boston. I am confident he is overjoyed that the Patriots won the Super Bowl.
This interviewer is sure that Mr. Gill not only teaches our children physical education lessons, but, like the entire Blessed Sacrament Community, he teaches lessons that will encourage our students to dream big and follow their dreams. He shares his strong family values through his teaching…something he has done for many, many years. He has what we in the teaching profession referred to as a calling to teach and feels fortunate to be continuing his teaching career at our school. We are blessed to have him with his experience and dedication teaching our students. In our half hour or so interview, this teacher made me think and expanded my point of view in the most profound and positive way... reminding me of what is truly important in life. Imagine the wonderful impact he is making on the children of Blessed Sacrament School. I look forward to hearing about his classes. I encourage you to introduce yourself to Mr. Gill. His door is always open.
By Ann Flynn