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Educator of the Year

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Ready…1…2…3…go—Hup! Michele Heinze calls me out of my front two and a half on one meter. I finally conquered my fears and chucked it. The first one couldn’t have gone better. I get back to the surface of the pool with a smile on my face. I did it, but she made me. Of course I knew in the back of my mind I would easily be able to learn this dive, but my body wouldn’t let me go. Michele talked me through it—no yelling might I add—and I was able to do it.

I don’t know many people that coach without yelling, but Michele does it. She only coaches as a fun side job. Along with it, she teaches kindergarten at Hartland South and takes care of her two kids, Ethan and Carson. She also sails and curls in what little free time she has. My coach has a busy life, but she will always be there for us divers.
Michele was the first Arrowhead Union High School diving coach that coached three girls all the way to state (it’s hard getting even one girl to state). Most people think as their coach as a scary, intimidating adult. But not my team. We are able to laugh all practice and dance around with Michele. She even joins in singing when we’re driving to our meets. She tells us what she really thinks. It makes the tension between coach and athlete less and makes the sport more enjoyable. If she was wearing a suit, you’d think she was actually on the team.

When I’m having a bad practice, she can see it on my face. She listens to what is wrong and helps us put smiles on our faces. I want to be a diving practice everyday because of her. She’s not afraid to act like a high school student. I have helped out in her classroom and she’s loved by all the kids. She dressed up and played games with them too. She isn’t afraid to be a little kid again. Even though I’m a senior… she’ll be my mentor forever.





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