Getting to Know

Young teacher belongs in a classroom helping students grow

2013-05-10T00:00:00Z Young teacher belongs in a classroom helping students growBy Kimberly Cheek-Stanley Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
May 10, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Luther East High School teacher Michael Gonya showed teaching potential even as a student at that very same Lansing school.

“One of my teachers wrote me a letter. It spoke of my talents and my weaknesses, but what it ultimately alluded to was where my strengths would be most suited: becoming an educator,” he said.

“It didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me when I first read it at age 16, but after a few college visits and a lot of stress, rereading it made things so clear. I belong in a classroom.”

A 2009 graduate of Concordia University Chicago, Gonya, 26, returned to Luther East last year and now instructs Word Processing and Publisher programs at three grade levels.

“It is good to be in a classroom teaching. I enjoy working with high school students. Plus, since I attended Luther East, it is like a trip down memory lane every day,” he said.

In addition to his part-time position at the school, Gonya is employed as a teacher at Sylvan Learning Center in Schererville.

“I enjoy that in such a small group setting and working with the same students frequently, it is easy to see their academic progress and growth,” he said.

A drummer for 12 years, Gonya also enjoys reading and gaming.

“Life can be difficult and stressful sometimes, so escaping into a world of fiction provides a good rest from real life,” he said.

Gonya resides in Homewood, Ill with wife, Lisa, and attends St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Munster.

To nominate someone for this feature, contact kimberly.a.cheek@gmail.com.

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