Passing on the passion

Niemic takes the passion he received as a student and passes it on to his own students


Krystal Zamudio

Mr. Jon Niemic sits with his students, working with them one-on-one.

Madelyn Roush, Contributing Writer

Enthusiastically, a young Mr. Jon Niemic participates in a conversation with his high school football coach at Crystal Lake South High School. He listens to his coach intently, wanting to better himself to the best of his ability. It’s coaches like these that pushed Niemic to become the coach and teacher he is now at McHenry Community High School: eager, honest, and driven. Passion that was given to Niemic during his high school years inspired him to give the same to students at MCHS in hopes that they will continue this pattern of passion.

Niemic’s teachers from his high school days played a crucial role in pushing and inspiring him to become a teacher. “Oftentimes, and I think a lot of people would agree, it’s the people that impacted us when we were in high school”, reasoned Niemic. Niemic is a leader not only in the classroom, but the football field as well. He has been coaching football at MCHS since the year 2016, and gives partial credit to his coaching career to his coaches he had in highschool. “All the teachers and coaches I had throughout my life played a role in that too,” quipped Niemic. His teachers and coaches were his biggest motivators towards becoming a teacher.

Given that so much of Niemic’s inspiration to become the teacher and a coach he is today comes from his high school teachers and coaches, he tries to provide the same inspiration to his students and players. “One of the things that I always tell the guys is it’s not about what happens to you in life, it’s about how you respond,” explains Niemic. Niemic coaches the football team using advice that will help them both on and off the field. “You get one opportunity. You go out and try to get the job done, if you don’t get the job done, you go back and figure out why”, guides Niemic. It’s lessons like these that will stick in the heads of Niemic’s players like glue, and benefit them throughout their life after highschool. 

While there have been many highs during Niemic’s teaching and coaching career, they haven’t come without hardships. “Getting a fifteen, sixteen, or seventeen year old to buy into the same message, one of the things we talk about as a team is we never place ourselves over the team. There’s no one person on our team that’s bigger than everybody else,” vocalizes Niemic. One of the hardest parts about his job is getting his team to believe in the same idea, and to wholeheartedly believe in that idea. Once you get over that difficulty, Niemic mentions there’s one part about his job that he values over the rest. “They ask teachers to participate in the graduation ceremony, that’s always a special moment. Especially when that underdog kid that you’re rooting for makes it and graduates,” states Niemic. Though there are difficult times during every teacher’s career, moments like these make all those difficulties worth it. 

The driving force that pushes people to become teachers is often the teachers they have in high school, and for Niemic, this reigns true. He uses the inspiration he gained from past teachers to inspire his current students. Niemic hopes that his honest and passionate method of teaching propels kids towards success and achieving their goals.