Physical education teacher Rich Skillman will exercise a bit more balance for the 2021-22 school year, mixing his now part-time P.E. teaching role with his new part-time Teacher on Special Assignment position at Nooksack Valley Middle School.
“Adding a part-time Teacher on Special Assignment role to support our students and staff while creating a positive school and classroom environment is a necessary next step,” says Joel VanderYacht, principal. As the middle school continues to grow its enrollment and assistant principal Tom Harmon spends a hefty portion of his time as the district’s athletic director, VanderYacht says “now was the perfect time to add Rich to support the team.”
“Rich knows and understand the goals of Nooksack Valley Middle School around building relationships and connections with students,” he says, “which is essential to establishing a positive school climate.”
Skillman says he has been helping the administrative team, filling in where gaps have existed, over the past two years, and has enjoyed the process of building relationships with students. He sees the new role as a chance to create a positive culture across the entire school and “focus on creating a positive relationship with all students, helping them grow in the best version of themselves.”
“I am looking forward to something new and something different,” Skillman says.
In the arrangement, Skillman will teach P.E. every Monday and Tuesday and serve as a support to the administration on Thursday and Friday. He will switch between roles every other Wednesdays. “P.E. is my first passion and I love the idea of teaching kids to love physical activity, so I am very excited to continue in that role,” Skillman says. “I also really enjoy working with the admin team at the middle school and am looking forward to the opportunity.”