My name is John Ely and I am a 23 year old history teacher on the Southwest side of Chicago, IL. I have taught for two years at this school and since have taken over many endeavors at the school. I am the Varsity Girls Volleyball Coach, the Sophomore Boys Basketball Coach, the Assistant Varsity Boys Baseball Coach, as well as the Athletic Director of the Athletic Department. Although I have only done of this for about a year, I have already seen how positive after school sports activities are to the students. I had the privelage of coaching the top two students on the team last year, who I became close with and aided them in their senior duties and college choice process. Our number one student is going to Indiana University and the number two is going to DePaul University. It was an amazing experience for me and I am excited to continue aiding them as they move their college years.
I took over the team because if no one did, then there would be no team. Knowing the intelligence and committed nature of the girls on the team, I gave it a shot. I quickly became devoted to my players and we formed a family type bond. We did not win a game, but we had a great time and the GPAs of my players actually went up. I was so proud all year when they would run to me with their awesome tests and majorly improved report cards. It was an amazing experience.
The overall atmosphere at Gage Park tends to make it very hard for students to achieve success in the poverty stricken Southside of Chicago. Almost all of our 1800 students are on free lunches. Although so many people are trying to answer the questions that cause the mayhem that exists, it is only slowly getting better.