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Gathje gives his time as teacher and coach

Gathje gives his time as teacher and coach

In 1991, John Gathje made his arrival to The Mount, taking on the role of English teacher, track and field coach, and cross country coach. Over the years, Gathje has been known for making significant impacts on the school, devoting hours upon hours of his time to the students. 

         “I respect Mr. Gathje both as a teacher and as a coach,” Kale Sykora ‘24 said. “It is amazing to think that he is able to proactively help students learn and assist the same students in improving athletically.”

As a freshman and senior English teacher, Gathje strives to instruct multiple groups of students on various topics while keeping students engaged with intriguing lesson plans and real-life applications.

         “I appreciate all he does for us as students,” Finn Murphy ‘24 said. “He always finds a way to apply whatever he is teaching to our lives in a unique way.”

Additionally, as a coach, he aims to improve and exploit his runners’ athletic abilities while concurrently providing advice as an experienced runner himself.

“My core values as a coach are that everyone on the team matters, that we are all working to get better at our sport, and that sustained success does not happen without sacrifice,” he said.

Gathje ran at Saint John’s University in Minnesota from 1985 to 1989 and was the cross country, and track and field coach at Saint John‘s Preparatory School in Collegeville, Minn., and Holy Angels High School in Bloomington, Minn., before coming to Mount Michael. 

Gathje views the relationship between academics and athletics with great importance. He said, “I strongly believe they complement each other. Often my better students are my better athletes. The self-discipline required to succeed in both helps.” 

Gathje also became a dean at Mount Michael for a short time, living on campus and helping students throughout their daily life. “I had a room in the old priory that I used as an office,” Gathje said. “I learned that being a dean is a very demanding job.”

         Gathje is a great example of someone who can perform multiple demanding tasks with others in mind. He has done an unbelievable job influencing Mount Michael for the better and hopes to continue developing the school and its athletic programs hereafter in a positive way.

“My favorite memories are the times when I see my athletes and students succeed at something they didn’t think they could succeed at.  I don’t really have a specific set of memories.  There are too many.”

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Sam Schwartz, Editor-in-Chief
Sam Schwartz joined The Mount Journalism team in 2021 as a reporter. Schwartz also participates in track & field.
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