Classroom Champions: NMBHS academic coach goes above and beyond in the classroom, on the football field

Published: Oct. 22, 2020 at 5:27 PM EDT
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NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - A North Myrtle Beach teacher was nominated for being a Classroom Champion.

Stephanie Domske Waller is a teacher in the classroom and on the football field, so her official title is an academic coach at North Myrtle Beach High School. In her 15 years teaching at NMBHS, she is in her second year holding one-on-one tutoring with the Chiefs' football players.

Domske Waller said she always knew she wanted to become a teacher and even more.

“I love football and I always have, and I always wanted to find a way to work with the football team," she said. "I am a different kind of coach than their regular coaches, because I focus on their academics and my other coach buddies say I baby them instead of being tough on them, but I am tough on their academics.”

The goal is to not have to bench players who are failing in class..

“This year has been different because of COVID, where I was able to meet with the varsity team as a whole one day a week and then the JV, but because of social distancing we can’t do it anymore, and some kids are virtual, some are hybrid, so I don’t see them as much," Domske Waller said.

Through the changes, she makes herself available and attends every football game. “

Academics always comes first at North Myrtle Beach and the coaches here are very supportive of that, which I don’t know if you would find at any other school," Domske Waller said. “

The educator makes it her goal to help make the athletes' lives a little bit easier. In addition to being a teacher and a coach, Domske Waller said she also helps plan homecoming and is the student council advisor.

“This year I’m part of the principal’s cabinet, so I try to be as involved with all of our kids, not just our football kids, because I like being part of this community,” she said. "I live here, my son goes to Riverside Elementary - he’s in kindergarten now - and if I can be part of making and keeping the community strong, that’s good for all of us.”

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