The student newspaper of Strath Haven High School. The Panther Press is first and foremost a reflection of the opinions and interests of the student body. For this reason, we do not publish any anonymous or teacher-written submissions, and we do not discriminate against any ideology or political opinion. While we are bound by school policy (and funding), we will not render any article neutral, although individual points may be edited for obscene or inflammatory content. Finally, the articles published in the Panther Press do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors or advisors.

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Athlete Spotlight: Mr. Foulk

Serafina Thomas, '17, Staff Writer

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The Panther Press wanted to take a closer look into the life and teaching of one resident teacher Mr. Folk. This History department head is a stud in the classroom, but what about on the field? The rink? The pool? The wrestling mat? Without the intervention of the Panther Press, the world might have just never known. However, lucky for the students residing here at Strath Haven, the call for answers has been fulfilled. The Panther Press set out on a mission to learn more about the athletic side of the enigmatic Mr. Folk.

Panther Press: If you could describe your entire existence in one word what would it be?

Mr. Foulk: Traffic… crosswalk, no crosswalk. PP: What other Haven athlete do you admire?

MF: Probably Mr. McLaughlin. Because he is the assistant to the traffic director. And the assistant director fills in when the traffic director can’t be there, he needs to be there. I mean, it might be up to opinion but some say he’s not quite there yet or has a different set of skills. He’s coming along quite well though; he has a gold medal in his future.

PP: What inspires you?

MF: Ummm… fresh paint on a crosswalk and students in need of crossing. When the first bell rings, and students begin to run, it really pumps the adrenaline like you need to score in the fourth courter. Students, they gotta make it to class, you got to stop those cars. When a minivan is revving strong, it just makes you really stand strong.

PP: What is your go to pregame snack?

MF: Pregame go to snack is always plain oatmeal old fashion Quaker oats – not the, not the minute oats- and usually my preference is blueberries. High quality from Produce Junction. If there aren’t blueberries, the secondary go to is blackberries. But usually the blueberries are convenient; they wash easily in your hand and dump into the bowl easily. And then I’ve gotta have post crosswalk I always do almonds. So it’s like carbo-load before and some protein when your done to stay strong for the next day.

PP: What skills have you learned from it?

MF: I’m ambidextrous. I can wave with both my right hand and my left hand. Umm, my weather and temperature tolerance has grown. I don’t need to layer up as much as I did when I first started. There’s a lot of specialized clothing in traffic directing. Usually it’s all in the fluorescent spectrum. There’s the pants- the fluorescent pants- your fluorescent vest, fluorescent jacket. Jacket has a liner, you put it in when its cold, take it out when its hot. But again, ambidextrous. And your head, you really need to be aware of what’s happening all 360 degrees and all times. There’s sneaky middle schoolers, none rule followers rear ended, sometimes people drive through and you want to talk to help them out. They might have some antifreeze, need some new breaks and you stop and help, but you can’t. You need to focus on the crosswalk; it’s all about the crosswalk.

PP: What is the most heroic thing you’ve ever had to do?

MF: Just recently Olivia Jacque, her water bottle fell, and she was unable to retrieve it herself cause it was under a parked car. So after everything was done I told her you should use tools, and I didn’t want to crawl under either. I told her, I said, “You should use tools.” But she didn’t know what to do. I got a block of ice and it took three shots, two hits one miss, and I retrieved the water bottle and Olivia was thrilled. Jacque was thrilled.

PP: What is the worst experience you’ve had playing this sport?

MF: Ahhh, that’s difficult. Usually there are not too many bad days. When you have a talent and are skilled at your sport, there are not too many bad days. You know what, the worst day is when you get stuck behind an accident on the Blue Route and don’t make it to the game. That is the worst day.

PP: Do you think this sport should be in the Olympics?

MF: Possibly… no definitely. In fact definitely because I think it’s important to have a global standard for crossing guards – but we like to use the term director of traffic. There should be a universal, global standard for traffic directing and students around the world would be safer.

PP: If you could change one single moment in your career, what would it be

MF: I would have started directing traffic much earlier in my career. It only came to me 12 years ago, but I really think I should have looked to this sooner. Then perhaps I would have a raised podium by now and could dance like those fancy traffic guards. But I can’t do that yet.

PP: How do you see yourself in the next ten to twenty years?

MF: Umm… directing traffic. Not for you, but perhaps I could be directing traffic for the offspring of those I direct today. Maybe in ten to twenty years the role would switch. Like first you where the student but now you’re the parent dropping off your kid to school. And maybe you would sympathize with those students who are running in the cold and the rain. They’re improperly dressed cause it’s cold and they don’t have a jacket on, and maybe you would identify with them.

PP: What’s one other sport that you sympathize with and admire?

MF: Probably a harbor pilot. A harbor pilot who helps guide ships safely into the harbor because it’s kind of the same sport as traffic direction but in the water and with ships. I don’t aspire to that though, nah, I’m not that aquatic, just traffic direction. Or, actually, I might be an air traffic controller. I might aspire to that some day.

PP: You’d need higher education for that right?

MF: No, nah. I think I have all the higher education I need. I have, I have twelve years of traffic direction under my belt and if the FAA were to ever see that they’d higher me *snap noise* in a snap. They’d say, this guy can multitask and keep people safe and keep things from running into other things. The only difference is in traffic direction its student versus car where as in air traffic control it’s just airplane and airplane. It’s really the same principal just it’s bigger and it’s flying.

The student newspaper of Strath Haven High School. The Panther Press is first and foremost a reflection of the opinions and interests of the student body. For this reason, we do not publish any anonymous or teacher-written submissions, and we do not discriminate against any ideology or political opinion. While we are bound by school policy (and funding), we will not render any article neutral, although individual points may be edited for obscene or inflammatory content. Finally, the articles published in the Panther Press do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors or advisors.
Athlete Spotlight: Mr. Foulk