Educator of the Year

April 3, 2009
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John Mesenbrink’s achievements are almost unheard of in the world of high school athletics. He has coached his wrestlers in over a dozen state finals matches. A handful of those have become NCAA Division I wrestlers, and one of his own even represented the United States in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. But he isn’t the kind of person to dwell on his own achievements; instead, he uses his abilities to help others attain success of their own.
Coach Mesenbrink’s commitment and empathy are what set him apart. In my four years of having him as my coach, I can’t recall one time he missed a practice. Every time we are in the training room, he makes us better. Every time we have a team run at 6:00 a.m. before school, he is there running with us. Every time we are at a tournament hours away from home for a whole weekend, he is also hours away from his family of five, with us, making sure that we are accomplishing our goals. Going through everything that we go through lets us know that he understands our struggles, and helps him to motivate us to achieve everything we work for. “You get out of it what you put into it,” says Coach Mesenbrink.
His leadership is unparalleled. Year after year, he takes a group of adolescents, who may or may not know each other, and turns them into a team, unites them under a common goal, and inspires them to ”break barriers.” I know under Coach Mesenbrink’s influence, I have become not just a better wrestler, but a more driven and complete person. The intangible traits of self-discipline, resilience, and hard work that he instilled in me have helped me in all aspects of my life, and will continue to drive me towards success long after wrestling ends.

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