On Monday, May 8th, the Farragut community including students and their parents, alumni, faculty, and staff paid tribute to the 40+ years of Coach Nick and his dedication to Admiral Farragut Academy.
The West Lounge was packed with well-wishers for Michael Nicholson, affectionately known as Coach Nick, who has taught science at Farragut since 1978 and who has announced his retirement towards the end of the school year. It was a joyous celebration of Coach Nick’s career, including a photo book with pictures and letters/messages and speakers who were influenced in many different ways by this wonderful teacher.
“Fourteen years ago, I switched careers and began teaching at Admiral Farragut Academy,” said Sari Deitche, head of the science department at Farragut. “I was so lucky to have mentors, like Coach Nick, who took me under their wings and taught me what it means to teach in the classroom. Coach Nick is not just a teacher. He is a passionate teacher who is in love with teaching. He is a mentor to students and faculty.”
6th graders Jillian Aprile and Calli McKee also presented Coach Nick with a gift from their class, who was Coach Nick’s first 4th grade class he ever taught due to the new division restructure in 2014-15. “We always loved how you’d take us to the waterfront and how excited you got about what you were teaching,” Jillian said. “We’re going to miss you and your Nichol-spasms!” They presented Coach Nick with a wooden board, adorned with white flowers, the word “doink”, and covered on the back with the signatures of everyone in their class.
Jeff Ogden, graduate of the class of ‘00 and alumni director at Farragut, also presented Coach Nick with a gift of a photo book containing quotes and photos from 40 years of students, parents, and coworkers.
Soon enough, Coach Nick himself took the stage. “I grew up here,” he said. “I was barely out of college when I looked for schools in a catalogue. I came in for an interview and all of a sudden I was in a classroom, as well as a dormitory, which I NEVER expected,” he added with a laugh. “I’ve watched my students grow from middle school to graduating and going off to college, and even sending their kids here as well. I’ll never be far away,” he joked, since he owns a home across the street from Farragut.
“Now school isn’t over yet, so do your homework,” he finished with a smile.