ACTE Techniques May 2012 : Page 16

Q & A An Interview With Darryl Miller, Wrestler and CTE Instructor along with the responsibilities of being much more self-reliant students versus those attending traditional high schools. ACTE: And how did you get involved in wrestling? DM: I started in 1979-80 during my graduate work at the University of Wis -consin. I had an opportunity to become the head trainer for the University of Wisconsin’s wrestling team when our head athletic trainer, a Hall of Famer, had a mild heart attack during a Big Ten wrestling match. The head athletic trainer made it, but he did not return for a while. The follow -ing Monday morning we had our weekly staff meeting. Several of us new graduate students were asked if any of us would like to become the head athletic trainer for the University of Wisconsin’s wrestling team. I looked around, not a hand went up, and I thought, “You know what. This is a great group to work with.” And the rest is history. That’s how it all started, and from there I’ve been a blessed man. The wrestlers exceeded all my expectations as far as men of great character go. These athletes possessed amazing attributes of faith, discipline and dedication. After leaving the University of Wiscon -sin and coming to Colorado, I’ve had the opportunity of working with the Universi -ty of Colorado’s Orthopedic Department, been employed as Denver Public Schools High School District Athletic Trainer for Sports Medicine, taught CEC college classes, and had the perk of working with the U.S.A. Olympic Wrestling Team and travelling with them as they trained and competed around the world. ACTE: It sounds like your career in career and technical education and in wrestling sort of grew together. DM: It did. ACTE: And how do you bring those together, the wrestling and your CTE instruction? DM: It’s really easy because we’re teaching sports medicine by instructing our students about the same basic skills and responsibilities that I use to provide the safety and well-being of our U.S.A. wrestling athletes. Wrestling just happens to be my venue and passion; the discipline could be volleyball, soccer or any of the Olympic sports. I am also the District Athletic Trainer for the Denver Public Schools, and I have an incredible staff of 11 certified athletic trainers who serve all our high school athletes—wrestlers, foot -ball players, basketball players, softball players, etc.—the whole gamut of sports. What we do in high school is no dif -ferent than what I do when I’m working with an Olympic or world athletic team by providing medical services, so the kids can see it first-hand. We make a number of field trips to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs and the University of Colorado in Boulder to observe and learn about the sports medicine environment, where they may eventually work. What we do in the classroom right here at CEC can be transformed to the college, international and professional levels. The skills that are taught in the high school classroom are the same skills I use when I’m working with those athletes who are headed toward earning Olympic gold medals. www.acteonline.org Sports medicine teacher Darryl Miller will be traveling to London this summer with the u.S.A. Olympic Wrestling Team. ACTE: What do you do in career and technical education, and where are you doing your educating right now, at what school? Darryl Miller: Personally, I’m the Sports Medicine Athletic Training In -structor for the Denver Public Schools at CEC (Career Education Center) Middle College. ACTE: What is a Middle College? DM: Our Middle College transitions our kids in their junior and senior years to a community college in the Denver Metro area, which is practically within walking distance of our school. They immerse themselves in classes, campus life, and we actually have high school instruction there, as well, for part of our staff. Our students get a sense of college classes and college environment 16 Techniques Ma y 2012

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