This is the second in a series of features on educators from local school districts.
Brent Noes, a Jamestown native, has been teaching at Miami Trace Local Schools for over a decade now and continues to love his job every day.
Born and raised in Jamestown, Noes attended Greeneview High School and graduated in 1992. Deciding to continue the pursuit of a higher education, he went on to attend Wright State University where he graduated with his undergrad degree and his teaching license. Noes then went on to obtain his masters in educational leadership from the University of Dayton.
“Early on I really wasn’t sure of what I wanted to do while in college, but the longer I went to school and the more I had time to think about it I decided that it was something I wanted to do,” Noes said. “I had some influential teachers growing up that I really respected and appreciated what they did. So I thought that would be a route I wanted to take to maybe try and do the same thing. The one thing I wanted to do, and really had an interest in, was to be a marine biologist. I realized that maybe living in the Midwestern region of the United States, and this part of Ohio, that might not be a very good thing unless I was going to relocate. I wanted to stick around.”
Noes began teaching in the Miami Trace school district in 2001. His career began at the Miami Trace Junior High (which became the Miami Trace Middle School) teaching early American history to eighth graders for about eight years. He transferred, for the 2009-10 school year, to the high school to continue teaching American history, where he has been since. The classes he teaches now are for sophomores and include three levels of learning.
“The most difficult part? Trying to stay educated on the new verbiage and language that is used through the state and legislation that is being passed down from them,” Noes said. “Keeping up with the new policies and procedures pertaining to the tests. If you look at the last couple of years, they have completely revamped our testing……it would last for one year, and they would completely revamp it again. To me that is the difficult part of education.”
That is merely just one aspect of the job though, and Noes says he loves his job because of the kids he gets to deal with every day. His job is special to him and he said he would not trade it for anything.
“This is my 14th year and I don’t know if I ever remember waking up and not wanting to go to school that day,” Noes said. “I have never woke up and said ‘I don’t want to go to work today.’ It is the kids, each class is different, and they all have their own characteristics that they bring to the table. Nothing is ever the same with them. I love being with them and I know it is important to let them know that I enjoy being here. They pick up on that. If they know you are energetic and excited to be here, it can have an influence on the kids and the classroom as well.”
For Noes, anytime he can watch a student succeed and they surprise themselves doing something they did not believe they could do, it is gratifying. Seeing students after they get out of school and they come back to say, “I really appreciate things you said or things you did for me,” is also a great feeling for Noes.
“Even if you just can affect one kid a day and let them know that they are important, it is a nice thing,” Noes said.
Noes also provided his opinion on the state of education and where he would like to see progress in the coming years.
“I would say better communication from the top down,” Noes said. “Instead of dictating from the top down, from the state down to the people in the classroom, how about they actually ask us? How about they consult us, the people doing the job every day? Whether that be the teachers in the classroom or the administrators in the buildings. I know they have what is called a consultant whose job it is. But the reality is there is such a big discrepancy in districts, that have a higher income level and low income level, that they ask us to do a lot of things that are very difficult to do. I just think it would help if before they start mandating policies, they came to talk to teachers and put themselves in the buildings and maybe it might have a different impact.”
Noes helps with extracurricular activities, something he has been doing almost as long as he has been teaching. He has been the head track coach for 11 years and has been an assistant coach for the Miami Trace Panthers football team, serving as defensive coordinator for about seven years. Noes resides in Cedarville with his wife and daughter.
“I think that one of the best attributes in this district is that the administration, the teachers and the entire staff have a very caring attitude toward the kids,” Noes said. “I think here at the high school, the administration does a fantastic job with the teachers and that’s important. This is a great place to teach, a great place to work and a great place for our kids here to learn. I am very honored to be a part of this school system and community.”
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy