By: Vikrant Sabharwal
On a normal day in physical education class, students in Year 6 hollered as they played dodgeball. For Mr. Mike Stolberg, the day carried massive significance. It was his last day at the British International of School (BISB). He had six incredible years here, strengthening the physical education department at the school along with Mr. Dylan Cesonario. At BISB, Mr. Stolberg has grown not just as a coach, but as a person. From coaching the high school basketball team to watching elementary schoolers run around, there are countless experiences which Mr. Stolberg will treasure for the rest of his career. Many of the students have been grateful to have had Mr. Stolberg guiding them with their physical activity. We asked him a few questions to find out more about his departure and experience at BISB.
What is your next opportunity?
“I am going back to New York. I have a good opportunity to teach at a private school, St Raymond's High School. It is a very competitive sports and academics school. I am going to be teaching PE and potentially coaching basketball there.”
What are you most excited about with your new opportunity?
“I am excited to be getting back to New York, going back to my roots since I am originally from there. I am also excited about the unknown that comes with the new change. I was here for six years and had a great experience getting to know teachers and students, but I am looking forward to getting out of my comfort zone with the change of scenery.”
How did your experience at BISB differ from your expectations?
“Originally, I was only going to be at BISB for six weeks, but that turned into six years. I was just filling in for somebody and I got the opportunity to stay, so I took advantage of it. When I first started BISB, I didn't really know what I was getting myself into as I never worked at an international school before, only worked at normal public or private schools. So, I am forever grateful for the opportunity here, and I have no complaints at all.”
How have you changed the PE dynamics at BISB?
“I definitely think before a lot of kids were initially very hesitant during PE. They didn't know what games we were going to play. We tried to put a fun twist to activities, to make them more engaging for students. From a sports standpoint, we were not competitive early on. But I think a lot of the students realized they were willing to push themselves and that I was there to help them get there, whether it was on the soccer field or playing basketball. Before I got here, we didn't really have a basketball team. I would say we made our sports significantly more competitive overall.”
As you reflect back on your time at BISB, what memories do you cherish most and what will you miss most?
“There are several memories I have from BISB but I will miss the students the most. I have developed such strong relationships with the students, as I've gotten to know each and every one of them so well on a personal and an academic level. They have challenged me to make myself better as a person and as a teacher. So that's just really something that I'm going to hold onto for a long time.”
What is your final message to BISB before you leave?
“It has been a great ride. I'm always going to hold BISB and Boston close to my heart, and I am forever grateful for this experience.”
We, at BISB, wish Coach Stolberg success in all of his future endeavors and hope to see him come back to visit at the school soon.