Kelly transitions into teaching role after multiple career changes

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Kelly transitions into teaching role after multiple career changes


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Physical Education teacher Roy Kelly starts off the 2018-19 school year on a different note. Originally from Front Royal, Kelly was a “military brat” for most of his childhood but has settled down, living in Harrisonburg for the past 11 years. Kelly has had many experiences in teaching, but is a first year teacher here.

“I started at Shenandoah University and I was going to play football there, which I didn’t end up doing. I dropped out literally after a semester. I started getting into the working world, worked for a few years and realized that this wasn’t what I wanted to do,” Kelly said. “That is when I went back to school, started community college, got my associates and transferred to James Madison. I got my bachelors [at JMU], and then finished with my masters there.”

It took Kelly around seven years to complete his post-high school education. Before this, Kelly taught driver improvement classes for six years and was also employed at Skyline High School (in Front Royal), and Turner Ashby High School with the extracurriculars offered there. Out of all the teaching philosophies, Kelly focuses on empowerment and will be trying to emphasize that here.

Sam Heie
New teacher Roy Kelly speaks to senior Micah Yutzy during weightlifting class.

“I teach empowerment to my students. I am always trying to figure out a way to come to the next level,” Kelly said. “[I want to] get them to be better than when they first came into my classroom, whether it is intellectual or physical.”

Kelly confessed that at first, being a teacher wasn’t in his highest interests, but in the end he discovered the passion he had for teaching. Kelly considers himself as an understanding teacher, making one of his priorities to connect and help students.

“I do create high expectations for my students, [so that they can be] successful,” Kelly said. “What motivates me is when students come up to me and say, ‘You really did teach me something.’ I appreciate that.”

As a former student, Kelly feels it is important to have a motivator; someone to have a connection with.

“I didn’t push myself and I sometimes think I would’ve done more if there was a special person would have somehow connected with me,” Kelly said. “So I try to be that for students.”



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