Gabe VanWinkle | Faces of Midland
Teaching Runs in the Family
Growing up in a family where both parents work in the education field can have its perks, and for Gabe VanWinkle, it led to finding out what he wanted to pursue as a career.
Gabe is a junior Secondary Education major from Kearney, Nebraska. Coming out of high school, he was looking to get out of his hometown while still being in a small community.
“It was a chance for me to leave my hometown but not entirely leave the state. I wanted to get out of my hometown for a new experience. I’m not going to say experience the world because I’m still in Nebraska, but it was a chance to experience something new.”
Gabe wasn’t sure his football career would continue past high school, but after discussions with Midland coach Jeff Jamrog, he realized the opportunity to continue playing was one he couldn’t pass up.
“I enjoy the game; I still love it. So I said if I have a chance, I might as well take it.”
Gabe has liked being a little more involved the last two years because it allows him to connect with more people and develop more relationships.
“I might be a unicorn of sorts as a football player, but I really love English. I enjoy taking all of the English classes with some really smart people, and I get to learn from them all the time.”
Since Gabe grew up surrounded by the education world and seeing it behind the scenes, it led him to choose that career path. Thanks to his parents, teaching has always been in his blood. He even had his dad as a teacher in high school.
“They (parents) both kind of put that bug in my ear about becoming somebody that wasn’t in a job for money, but be someone who wants to influence and impact people. That’s something I’ve grown up really wanting to do.”
He also said he has had a knack for helping others with subjects they might need help understanding. “Being able to help people with subjects they may struggle with and being able to sit down with them and explain it to them to the point where they understand it is nice for their comfort, as well as for mine.”.
Gabe said Midland has changed him as a person from what he was like in high school because of the relationships that he has developed and the experiences he has had. He said his professors have changed his way of thinking, and he gives credit to all of them throughout his journey at Midland.
“They encouraged me and made me get out of my comfort zone of my writing style and my ways of interpreting texts. All of that has just been incredible.”
Gabe VanWinkle is a junior Secondary Education major from Kearney, Nebraska.