Monday, June 5, 2017

Thank You to My Maryland Family

Thank you to my Maryland family…

By  Mr. Rickbeil

Mr. Kyle Rickbeil Teaching in 2005

Thirteen years ago, I encountered a major setback on my way to becoming a teacher.  I was weeks away from moving to New Jersey to start a master's program at Seton Hall University and a teaching job in the Diocese of Newark when everything fell through.  I was unable to find a school placement that worked, and the harder I tried, the more convinced I was that I was not supposed to be moving to New Jersey.  Discouraged, I took a one-year job teaching outdoor education at a Catholic summer camp in Indiana and waited for another opportunity to teach.  I longed to have my own classroom, and had great ambitions of what I wanted to accomplish when I finally had a chance to teach…and then came Trinity School.

I came to Trinity in the Summer of 2005 as part of the Operation Teach Program at the University of Notre Dame of Maryland.  This program has graduated several Trinity teachers, such as Mr. Hosford and Mr. Bentzley, and as well as former teachers Ms. Archer, Ms. Dries, Mr. Printz, Mr. Trotty, and Ms. Manjarrez.  During my first interview at Trinity, I was told that if I put my heart into my work I would be loved by the children and the rest of the Trinity family.  That was quite a sales pitch- I knew that I could use a family out here since mine was over 1,000 miles away!  The sales pitch was no gimmick- they were right about their promise.

During my first few drives down the long driveway off of Ilchester Road, I remembered thinking that this was an impressive school, but I was going to serve for two years and then move back to the Midwest.  Two years into my tenure, I seriously considered moving back, and had a group of friends to live with all ready for me once I made my decision.  When the time came to decide, I could not leave.  I was hooked.  My heart was at Trinity, and I knew it wasn't time to go.  I planned to stay for two more years, until the basketball team I was coaching graduated.  Two years later, I was offered one of those job opportunities that I couldn’t refuse, offering a higher salary and better hours.  I refused it.  I decided to stay a few more years until my next basketball team graduated.  After those three years, I decided to stay another two years, and before too long I ended up here for 12 years.

These last twelve years have been full of memories, and they have certainly been enjoyable.  I have been blessed to take on many different assignments at Trinity, and each of them brought great joy to my life.  Teaching religion was everything I hoped it would be, and it was such a thrill to share the goodness of God with so many classes of Trinity middle school students.  Coaching basketball, track, and cross-country may have been my greatest thrill on campus, and the races and games brought plenty of life to my weekends.  It was a blessing to offer my loud voice and my energy for the pep rally, fall festival, and spring event.  And of course, I was beyond blessed to succeed my hero and close friend Mr. Wilson a few years ago as Head of Middle School.  I have seen this campus from many different angles doing many different jobs during the past 12 years, and it's beautiful any way you look at it.

Counting my five years in Indiana before Trinity, I have been away from my family in Minnesota for the past seventeen years.  During these past twelve years, I have been adopted into the Trinity family and have been greatly blessed by your support.  I have met students I will always remember, co-workers that were true friends, and parents that were teammates in this great work of education.  The Trinity family has definitely kept me busy during the last twelve years, and it has certainly made sure I was well-fed!  As a supportive family, Trinity has also provided for much of my education by helping me through two masters' degree programs at Notre Dame of Maryland and at Marymount University.  I have also learned countless valuable lessons about working with people on the job, whether it was in my classroom, my office, or on the basketball court.  I have also benefited from the supportive leadership of Sr. Catherine, Mrs. Martinez, Mrs. Law, and our other administrators over the past twelve years that have clearly put their whole heart into their work.

After seventeen years away, I know with much clarity that it's time to return to Minnesota.  Faith, family, and love are all calling me back to the Midwest, and those are three pretty good reasons to return anywhere.  I am going to miss Trinity.  Although I have dreams of coming back to lead the pep rally, chaperone the Genesee Valley trip, or do the live auction at the Spring event, I am sure that I will have other commitments in Minnesota that will make these unfeasible.  Please know, however, that Trinity will be in my prayers, and I will come back to visit.  Our mission of proclaiming the goodness of God and teaching children what they need for life is beautiful in its simplicity and effectiveness, and I know the Trinity family will be a blessing to many more families that come down the long driveway.

Thank you for the joys of the past twelve years, and for adopting me as a son in the Trinity family.  This school has truly been a place where I've learned to love education.

With thanks,
Kyle Rickbeil