2017-08-24 / News

Teacher spends decades in Biddeford schools

By Grant McPherson
Staff Writer

Michael Redmond Michael Redmond BIDDEFORD – Former teacher and coach Michael Redmond has joined the Sanford School Department after 32 years in Biddeford.

Redmond, a 1980 graduate of Biddeford High School, is the son of Dave Redmond, a former football coach and Biddeford Athletics Hall of Honor inductee, for whom the youth football fields are named. Redmond began his new role as assistant director at Sanford Regional Technical Center Monday, July 10.

Sanford Regional Technical Center serves more than 450 students from Sanford and surrounding York County communities. Programs include automotive technology, culinary arts, health occupations and more. Students also take classes on a traditional college preparatory track.

“My biggest goal is to be part of the team here,” Redmond said. “Part of my success will be working hard and learning as much as I can to benefit students in Sanford to help them prepare for the future.”

Several people have asked Redmond if he’s nervous, but he said he’s excited for the new adventure.

“I told my kids, my philosophy in life is don’t be afraid to try new things,” Redmond said.

Redmond taught English at the Biddeford Middle School for five years before switching to high school, where he had been since. Most recently he taught social studies, which encompasses aspects of U.S. history, government and sociology. History was not a subject Redmond found interesting in high school but enjoyed the way his college professors handled the material. He tried to follow the same model in his own classroom.

“I try to make it applicable and teach to students’ interests,” Redmond said. “Some may like art or technology. There are multiple different pathways to a stimulating lesson.”

Redmond never intended to follow in his father’s footsteps. He grew up in Portland and remembers watching his father coach the Biddeford football team to championships three years in a row. Redmond faced his own challenges while coaching in Biddeford, and regards his time on the track and field team as some of his proudest moments. He oversaw Biddeford’s only Maine state track and field championship in 1995, the same year he was named track and field coach of the year.

“It was great to see those kids in a nontraditional sport enjoy success at the highest level in Maine,” Redmond said.

One of Redmond’s greatest challenges was working alongside Michael Landry, who died Dec. 12, 2006. The Southwestern Maine Activities Association named their best coach award after Landry, and the home locker room at Waterhouse Field is also named for him. Redmond said he enjoyed his time with Landry and never wanted to disappoint him.

“He was a demanding guy, but he had a big heart,” Redmond said.

The Biddeford community has always felt supportive to Redmond. He said everyone understands he can’t miss out on a new opportunity. Despite looking forward to the new position, Redmond will miss the school community he leaves behind.

“I’m anxious for the school year to start so I can meet the students, but I’ve enjoyed every second in Biddeford,” Redmond said.

Redmond cited his wife Karen Redmond as one of the biggest influences in his life. He said she’s supported him through all of his past endeavors.

Karen Redmond said she’s proud of the work her husband has done in Biddeford. She said he’s always been dedicated to teaching and would work well into the night for his students. She knows they will both hold on to their connections in the community.

“He likes to do his best work with all avenues of people,” she said. “It’s important for people to pursue what they want; he’s doing a great job.”

Redmond has noticed many changes in the teaching field during his time in the education system. Standardized testing is an ongoing challenge and he believes teachers today have a tougher job than when he started. Redmond said the job of teaching is demanding but rewarding, and he has the utmost respect for anyone involved in education.

“I had a lot of different career choices,” Redmond said. “I don’t regret a minute of it.”

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