Olson-Grinde-O’Donnell Post 348, The American Legion in DeForest, has selected Mike Minick as the 2020 Educator of the Year.
Minick was born and raised in DeForest. After graduating from DeForest High School, he earned a degree in physical education and health at UW-Whitewater and a masters degree in Administration at UW-LaCrosse.
He has taught physical education and health in DeForest for 27 years and is currently department chair of physical education and health at DeForest Area High School. He coached football for 20 years and stepped down at the end of the undefeated 2019 season that ended with a WIAA Division 3 state championship.
Minick and his wife Shelly live in DeForest and have four adult children and a granddaughter. In addition to the numerous activities within the school district, he is involved with church and community activities and charitable activities. It is no surprise that he ran a youth football camp for the past 20 years.
Teaching and coaching with passion and conviction to instill confidence, discipline, and respect are qualities he highly values. These qualities are essential to future leaders and that’s important to Minick. He has taken his team to leadership training at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, and had the Marine Corp put the football team through strength and conditioning exercises. He also said he learned much from the educators’ workshop at the Marine Corps Depot in San Diego that he was able to use in the classroom, in coaching, and in life in general.
Machell Schwarz, principal of DeForest Area High School, described Minick as a student-centered and humble educator who models character and a healthy life for students; a thoughtful leader held in high regard by his colleagues.
Among his awards are Badger North football coach of the year in 2007, 2011, and 2019. In 2019 he was named Region 4 Large Head Coach of the Year, Wisconsin Football Coaches Association/Green Bay Packers Coach of the Year and was a nominee for the Don Shula National Coach of the Year.
Minick epitomizes the qualities of the Olson-Grinde-O’Donnell Post 348 Educator of the Year.