Exit Interview: Mr. Lem Randall

This article is part of a series of interviews of departing faculty conducted by Aude Marie Ackebo ‘ 18.

Randalls

Mr. Lem Randall with with wife Betsy and their children Jaymes (left) and Maverick.

When did you start working at Northwood and how long have you been here for?

I started working at Northwood three years ago in 2013

What different jobs have you done/ classes have you taught?

I’ve coached the prep hockey team for all 3 years, coached the golf team for just as long, crew and conditioning for two of the years. In the classroom, I’ve taught sophomore world history and I taught ESL geography my first year.

Why did you decide to leave your Northwood job?

It came down to good timing for my family. My new job will allow us to be closer to my wife’s family. The opportunity is a step up in the coaching because I’ll be the head of the hockey program; it will also give me more time in the evenings since I won’t have dorm duty.

Do you have a best story/fondest memory/funniest happening that you could tell?

That’s what I love about schools: every day is something brand new and interactions with students change every day. I think just going on a road trip with a diverse group of individuals, whether it’s for golf, hockey, a movie bus or going to Plattsburgh with some students. The chance to interact with kids outside of the classroom and getting to know them a lot better has been really fun and rewarding.

Did you have a favorite year? Favorite part, class or team?

Two years ago, our hockey team had the winningest record in prep history so that was a great group of guys that seemed to come together at every game. I also worked with Kondiles, a great coach, and it was really fun to be a part of.

What did your years here teach you?

It taught me to relax and take a deep breath because everyone’s expectations and abilities are different. As a teacher and facilitator, it’s really important for me to recognize that as soon as possible be flexible with students. I’m obviously definitely still working on it.

What are your future plans? Where are you going?

I guess this is the next chapter but I don’t know where I’ll be going after that. I want to continue to coach and teach and prep schools are kind of a perfect place for that. When I did my schooling, I was in it to teach so I don’t want to leave the classroom but at the same time I love sport and I want to continue to work with athletes. It is a great fit for the next chapter of my life. As things develop, it will be something my family and I try to figure out.

 

Randall:

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Mr. Randall with Olivia Stanley ’18

At the beginning of the year, I walked into your classroom with nothing but a pen, a hot pink glittery notebook and a different attitude about life. When I walked into that classroom I had no idea that I would walk out a totally different person. If we’re being honest here Randall, you weren’t my favorite teacher at first. I was deathly scared of you and I could never tell when you were joking. Truthfully, I still can’t. I remember…about a month into school, Betsy asked a group of kids to come up to her apartment and kill a wasp. I watched Jaymes as this endeavor took place and ever since then, I’ve been babysitting the kids. Randall, you helped build lifelong friendships, Between Hannah and I babysitting the kids together, or our modern world class bonding over taking down the authority figures at our school. Other teachers give us a sense of community, but not in the way that you do. With your kid like demeanor, it makes it easy to open up to you. The Randalls give homesick kids parents for the time that they’re here. You taught me many things, among them being to have courage and to not be afraid to stand up for a cause that you believe in, but while standing up for a cause, to be ready to take the punishments that come with it. I think this is the most important thing because it teaches us to have a backbone without excuses tied to it. In ten years I don’t know if I’ll remember the name of the student council president at the moment, or what got some kids kicked out of school or even the conduct system. But I will remember the lessons I was taught and the love and compassion that the Randalls shared with me my years here at Northwood.

Olivia Stanley ’18

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