(WJBF) – It’s that time again where we introduce you to our Salute to Service honoree.
Each month we spotlight one of our men and women in uniform who continues to make a difference in our community.
This month, we had the honor of speaking with school teacher Adam Kowalczyk. Adam does it all. Not only does he serve his community, he makes sure his students know how important it is to help as well. It was an honor to present him with this month’s Salute to Service Award.
Adam is a teacher at Davidson Fine Arts School, who goes above and beyond for his students, and before that, he was serving his country.
“When I was a freshmen, a Marine Corps recruiter came in to the school, and I was drawn to it. I said I want to do that. So, I walked up, and he said, ‘well, how old are you?’ And I said, I was fourteen, and he said, ‘well, you got a couple of years.’ That was the entire conversation, but I was hooked. So, I got in shape, and then, I enlisted when I was seventeen. I did five years in the Marine Air wing, and I had two combat deployments to Iraq.”
Now, Adam has been teaching Health and PE at Davidson for seven years. He also coaches several sports and is the athletic director as well.
“I love the kids. I know it sound cliché to say ‘that’s why we get in to teaching,’ but truly I’ve always loved kids and it’s just a passion for me. It’s not really a job. I love what I do. The kids are wonderful, and I just try to provide them with opportunity and experiences and to create those memories that they can keep forever.”
For Adam, it’s not only important to help students at school, but he also makes sure that they help their community as well.
“We do a lot of community involvement pieces. We’ve done things from cleaning up the dam, cleaning up around town, and we’ve had kids here do murals. So, I’m trying to just keep them really involved and to always give back to the community.”
Kowalczyk feels his time serving his country helped prepare him for teaching.
“I’ve always wanted to serve my country. Post 9/11 we knew what we were signing up for. It was fresh. I was in high school when that occurred, so I knew there would be challenges, but it’s everything else you get from the military service. The leadership I learned, the work ethic, and really growing as a person.”
Even though Adam is all about taking care of his family, his students, and his community, he was still surprised when he received the Salute to Service award.
“I found out, and I was totally shocked. It’s nice to feel recognized and appreciated, especially when you put so much into the kids, the community, and the school. So, it was a little bit of a surprise for sure.”
If there’s someone you know who you think should be nominated for the Salute to Service Award, then you can nominate them at WJBF.com.