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The Student News Site of Liberty High School

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Mr. Skelly’s Journey to Teaching


New York is a very different place compared to Virginia. Moving from one place to another like that can be hard, and can have challenges to get over. One person who had to make this trip was Glenn Skelly. Skelly is currently a gym teacher and the JV lacrosse coach for Liberty. We can get back to that later for now let’s start at the beginning.

Skelly was born in Buffalo, New York. He grew up on Grand Island, where his family had a house with good land to play around on and house animals. Skelly had three older siblings who whenever he was free from playing organized sports, played backyard games with kids from around the neighborhood with them. Skelly originally played soccer, baseball, and lacrosse. It wasn’t always easy for him though. In elementary school, his parents divorced, and he had to pack up and move to school right next to his elementary school, so he could walk and bike. He lived with his mom because his dad moved out of town. He saw him every other weekend and two days a week.

Growing up without a full-time father figure can be hard for some people, but for Skelly, it was just a little setback. Once he got to middle school he was allowed to play contact sports so that’s when he started football and wrestling. Skelly was playing JV lacrosse for his high school while in middle school. Skelly kept to himself a lot but once he started talking to the other kids on the team that’s where he found his true self and made most of his friends there.

Middle school set him up for sports in high school, although he dropped wrestling he still kept football and lacrosse around. It was going really well for Skelly throughout the high school career. 

The day before his first football scrimmage in his senior season. the unthinkable happened, he shattered his ankle which took him out for his entire football season. He quit lacrosse in the upcoming spring because they had a rugby team and he really wanted to play rugby. He fell in love with rugby as soon as he picked up the ball. 

The college that Skelly already agreed to go to had an excellent rugby program. The college also had a great physical education and ROTC programs. “ROTC never panned out, so I played rugby there for four years,” says Glenn Skelly. In his junior year, he received an invitation to play for a semi-professional rugby league. The Nova Eagles saw interest in him and wanted him to come out to Manassas to play. Skelly finished college and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in physical education.

Skelly spent his summer of 2015 in Virginia playing for the Nova Eagles. “I had a blast, It was fun, and we came in third place,” states Skelly. Out of the sixteen-team league, his team came in second in his division and third league overall. In the playoffs, Skelly’s team won their first-round game, but in a close and heartbreaking defeat, they lost in the next round by five or six points. The next year after he graduated college he came down and played again which they didn’t have as good as a season. 

While looking for a teaching job he was bartending in Manassas, eventually Fauquier County was the first to reach out. In 2017 Skelly started subbing in Fauquier County. His first job here at liberty was in the special aids department. The next year was his full year teaching, he was a special education aid in an ecology class alongside Mrs. Winkleman. “I enjoyed teaching science but my degree was in physical education,” Skelly states. Once a spot in the P.E department opened up he applied, finally achieving what he has been working to do for so long.   

Skelly said, “It was very interesting subbing because all the schools had different structures, not only about how the school was built but how the blocks were run.” He was already working in the school, being in the football program. So the transition into a full-time teaching job by himself was so much easier. “Mrs. Winkleman was a great teacher to work with, we worked really well together. Setting up lessons, and getting all of our work done…we shared the load,” explained Skelly When Skelly switched to P.E. it was easier for him because he already developed relationships inside the school. It was easier for him because he knew more about the subject as well. 

One thing he has learned is that as much as things stay the same in high school, it’s very different. Being from New York and being from his school district. Where he went to school ninety-five percent of the students were caucasian, whereas at Liberty there is so much more diversity and acceptance. A main difference for Skelly is that going to school in the early 2000s versus now is what he expects and what is acceptable and what isn’t. “I’m learning to integrate some of the harsher things I’ve grown up with along with being more reasonable in school.” An example was one time in high school Skelly turned in a project to his English teacher that was a different media than she was used to. So when a student brought in a project to Skelly that was made out of a Minecraft world, it wasn’t what he was expecting but he still accepted and appreciated seeing the new media.

Glenn Parker Skelly had many adversaries he had to get through to be where he is now. Growing up with split parents is hard enough, but moving miles away from where you grew up can make it even harder. Learning multiple different sports along his way has made him to where he is such an amazing coach today. From coaching football to lacrosse and almost starting a rugby team, it shows that he likes helping out keeping kids getting physical activities whenever he can.

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About the Contributor
Noah Shamblin
Noah Shamblin, Staff Reporter
My name is Noah Shamblin I am a sophomore. I am a part of the football, wrestling, and winter and spring track teams. I am very involved in the school with multiple different clubs and activities.

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