AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF)
David Mihoulides didn’t know what he wanted to do when he started college. He did know he was really good at English. Now he gets to teach it every day at South Aiken High School.
“I think my rapport with kids, and working with kids and being able to inspire kids, I think that’s one of my strengths,” Mihoulides says. ” Don’t ask me to teach Math. You would fail.”
That rapport allows him to cater to divergent learners. He’s seeing that approach pay off as his students work on projects after they read The Crucible.
“Some kids, they would rather do the research. Some kids would rather do acting, create a film. Some kids would rather sing. Some would rather create a parody, we talked about the difference between satire and parody. And so making a parody of the Crucible, maybe that’s something they’re comfortable with.”
There’s such a strong team of teachers at South Aiken. All of them getting the job done and lighting a spark for learning in their students.
“I was inspired by my 5th grade teacher. First male teacher I’d ever had. And he just made learning fun. And so I promised myself when I got into teaching I was going to make learning fun for kids.”
Mr. Mihoulides is also Coach Mihoulides. When he took the job here at South Aiken, he wanted to stay involved in sports. They told him JV girls soccer was available. He accepted and adapted.
“I was like, okay. I played soccer for 7 years up in New York. So I hopped in on that and it was definitely an eye-opener. I made 3 girls cry my first practice because I was so tough. So I immediately went out and bought a couple of books on the psychology of coaching girls. And now I’d rather coach girls than coach guys.”
And somehow this teacher and coach finds time to work with children who otherwise might not get the help they need.
“It’s called the A-Team, adopted teen empowerment and mentoring. We meet at Augusta University. We’ve got 10 different sites all over Georgia. I’ve been working with that for 21 years now. We prepare kids. We try to keep them on the straight and narrow. Going to high school. Finishing up high school and going to college and being productive citizens.”
David Mihoulides. A teacher who gives so much to his students and gets so much more in return.
“Ralph Waldo Emerson said that we need to find that Divine Idea that we represent,” he says. ” And I think this is my Divine Idea. Working with young people.”