FREEPORT (WREX) — Parents want their kids to be engaged while they are at school.
An important part of that is the students feeling comfortable when they come to class everyday.
Nick Muench provides just that for the kids at Immanuel Lutheran School in Freeport.
Every day when the first bell rings and students fill the halls, Mr. Muench is there to join them.
“I’m on my feet a lot. I’m not in this office sitting at this desk,” Muench said.
“I want to be in the classroom. Smiling with the kids. Help them out if they need it. Helping them learn God’s word and love for them and helping the teachers as much as they need to.”
Whether its hugs, a pat on the back or high fives and fist bumps, Mr. Muench makes every kid in his school feel like more than just a student.
“They are family here. Each one of them is an individual, unique child so we help them so they can grow in their own way and feel love and have joy the whole day,” Muench said.
Mr. Muench is in his second year as the educational administrator with Immanuel Lutheran after spending 15 years teaching in the Chicago suburbs.
The Nebraska native (and proud Cornhuskers football fan) gives credit to two people for getting him where he is today.
His mom for his passion for teaching and some guidance from above bringing him to the stateline.
“My mom was a teacher so I kind of took into her footsteps. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life so I got into sports and eventually the leadership skills through athletics led me into teaching,” Muench said.
“God brought me here. There was a time they needed a principal so we had a search for that here and they interviewed me and God said lets go.”
Mr. Muench is more than just an administrator.
He’s in the classroom teaching as well.
The personalized approach has helped him get close to many of the the little Lancers roaming the halls.
One being Madie Ditmar,who;s mom Kathleen nominated Mr. Muench for Teacher of the Week.
Madie has severe health issues she deals with on a day to day basis which can make it tough to get to school at times.
Kathleen is grateful she has someone like Mr. Muench who genuinely cares about her daughter.
“Just being so supportive saying ‘I’m going to love her everyday. C’mon Mad! We’re going to get through this. You made it a half day yesterday. We can do this.’ The passion he has for her is huge,” Kathleen Ditmar said.
“This is what we needed for our school. You’re going to see him at every event. Anybody who meets him you know. You will never forget meeting Mr. Muench.”
Madie echoes her mom’s message.
She loves being able to come to school and know someone is looking out for her
He’s so caring and he cares about everybody,” Madie said.
It just shows that no matter what goes on in your life he’ll be there for you.”
It’s a great example of Mr Muench’s family mentality shining through.
While he is the one running the school, he doesn’t carry himself solely as an authority figure.
He enjoys interacting with the kids and really getting to know them like they are his own children.
“I want to be in the classroom. Smiling with the kids. Help them out if they need it. Helping them learn God’s word and love for them and helping the teachers as much as they need to,” Muench said.