Mike Graham’s physical education (PE) class at Williamsburg Elementary School is full of energy, games and music.He creatively incorporates activities into his class that get students moving and having fun for the two short periods each week that he sees each class. “I LOVE creating engaging lessons and seeing the joy that movement brings kids,” he said.
Mr. Graham earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in both Sport & Wellness Management and Physical Education K-12 from Trinity International University. He holds master’s degrees in Teaching and in Educational Administration from Aurora University.
He currently teaches K-5 PE at Williamsburg Elementary School, and he has also coached wrestling at both middle schools and was a head coach at the high school. He was named the Illinois Elementary PE Teacher of the Year in 2019 and won a National Elementary PE Teacher of the Year award in 2021.
Mr. Graham taught for five years in Woodland Dist. 50 and Wheaton Dist. 200 prior to coming to Geneva. He began his tenure here in Geneva 20 years ago as Heartland Elementary’s first PE teacher when the school opened in 2002. He then moved to Fabyan Elementary when it opened. He really enjoys working at new schools and setting up their PE program. “Opening a new school gives you the chance to build a real sense of community among all the stakeholders,” he said. “Everyone has a voice in creating the culture and they take pride in making the school an inviting place for students to learn.”
When he first started college, he was a music education major on a music scholarship. During winter break, his freshman year, he went back to his high school to help coach the local youth wrestling program. He enjoyed teaching the kids the various skills and techniques and watching them use them successfully in competition. That experience helped instill a love for teaching physical skills and upon returning to college, he switched majors.
In his spare time, Mr. Graham is an avid bass fisherman. He can be found every weekend wading the Fox River for smallmouth bass or bank fishing local ponds for largemouth bass.
“Geneva is a GREAT place to work. I feel supported by the administration, admired by parents, and connected with the staff,” he said. He wants parents to know that “the Geneva School District is a great place to send their children to school!” He added, “we have highly qualified teachers who care about every student's success and strive to make connections with them every day.”