Unexpected passion: Monigold finds joy in teaching

Lane Adkins, writer

On the road to becoming a researcher for the Department of Defense, new STEM teacher Marty Monigold took a detour to find health insurance. What he discovered was a love for teaching.

For Monigold, the new STEM and trigonometry teacher and wrestling coach,  teaching was not at the forefront of his career choices. Coming from a long line of teachers, he had wanted to go in a different direction. He pursued research for the Department of Defense, starting as a graduate student at Oklahoma State University on a research grant for the Naval Research labs.

“I worked with bombs everyday,” Monigold said. ?My job was to make a sensor that would detect roadside bombs.” 

Although functional, the device had problems that limited its use; however, this did not deter Monigold’s optimism.

“The only trouble was it took 30 minutes to change colors to signify a detection, but at Oklahoma State we call that proof of concept,” Monigold said. “I proved that it could be done, someone else just needed to make it work better.”

Monigold made good money as a graduate student, but a lack of insurance pushed him in another direction.

“My old coach was a principal and he told me that if I would come down and coach his wrestling team, then he would give me a job with insurance,” Monigold said.

 After six years of doing experiments in a basement, it was a welcome change. 

“Teaching, getting to interact with people, even coaching, I fell in love with it,”

Monigold said.

Monigold taught in the public school system for twelve years with students who were less enthusiastic for learning as he was for teaching.

“Students were not held accountable, and they weren’t pushed to maximize their potential,” Monigold said. “A lot of them just coast along, and they’re happy to do that because the schools will let them.”

This fall he landed a position at McGuinness.

“That’s one of the things that Bishop McGuinness doesn’t do,” Monigold said. “They try to push to maximize the potential of every student and that means a lot to me, because I think there are a lot of students who are capable of doing.”

Senior Tristian Ngyuen enjoys his teaching methods and the attitude that Monigold brings.

“He treats us more like adults because we are actually about to be,” Nguyen said. “Some of us already are, so I really like that he doesn’t treat us like we are just kids.”

Senior Helen Wright, a STEM II student, also appreciates Monigold’s enthusiasm and clear excitement for teaching. 

“You can definitely tell he is passionate about what he is doing, and you can tell that he is knowledgeable,” Wright said. “ He’s very open and very collaborative, and you can tell that he wants to help and wants us to succeed.”

Monigold strives to teach his students things not just inside the classroom, but outside of it as well.

“I do try to put in life lessons, things I have learned along the way. Sometimes hard lessons and even some lessons I have yet to learn,” Monigold said.