Tools for Teachers nominee Coach Stephen Mouser

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(KPLR)- Our Tools for Teachers program presented by Weber Chevrolet is rolling throughout the month of September. The program features many extraordinary teachers throughout the Metro area.

Today, we are thrilled to feature our first high school coach who is going above and beyond in the world of sports. This coach wants to make sure his students are active learners across all of their subject areas.

Coach Stephen Mouser is a basketball coach from Herculaneum High School who received $500.00 from Weber Chevrolet plus two tickets to the St. Louis Science Center for his students.

Mouser was nominated by Ila McGuire.

KPLR 11’s Tools for Teachers program is presented by Weber Chevrolet.

If you’d like to nominate a teacher visit: Nominate a “Tools for Teachers” candidate on KPLR11. com


Here was the nomination we received for Coach Mouser:
My son, Tristan, started struggling with grades as he finished junior high, but things got even worse when he entered high school. I was not able to get straight answers from him on what was going on. Part of it, I still believe, was just willingness to admit that he didn’t get things or needed help. To cover that, he would feign indifference. I wouldn’t get straight answers about missing homework or failing grades on tests. By the end of his freshman year, I was wondering if my son would even be able to graduate from high school.

At the start of his sophomore year when Tristan wanted to play basketball but was not eligible due to his grades, I think that helped it sink in to his brain that he was in a bad position, but the work he had to do to dig himself out of the hole was overwhelming. Thankfully, this is where Coach Mouser enters the picture. I can’t even say that Coach Mouser partnered with me to effect the changes we needed to see in my son. We owe all of the progress made in the past school year to his involvement and caring and Tristan’s hard work.

Even though my son was not eligible to play, Coach Mouser kept my son on the team. Tristan still practiced every day with the team and dressed up on game days even though he could not put on the uniform and play. He sat on the bench and supported the team. Off the court, Coach Mouser worked very closely with my son. Coach Mouser and Tristan would spend 6 or more hours at the high school every Saturday catching up on missing homework, discussing where Tristan needed help and what he needed to accomplish the next week during school/homework. On game days before the boys had to be at the high school, Coach Mouser arranged tutoring on subjects where Tristan needed extra help. We saw significant progress over the course of the semester. And then semester exams came and things did not go as well as we hoped. Tristan was not able to bring up his grades enough to re-instate his eligibility for the 2nd semester of sports. Coach Mouser, Tristan and I met to discuss what went wrong and what we would do going forward. It didn’t matter to Coach Mouser that Tristan still would not be suiting up for games. He told Tristan and I that the hard work wasn’t over. He did not want Tristan to stop working with him closely to keep working to get his grades up. Coach Mouser’s help was about more than just having another player on his bench; it was and is about helping Tristan realize his potential as a student and what he can accomplish.

Tristan and Coach Mouser continue to work together daily. Instead of them both giving up every Saturday, this semester we were able to adjust Tristan’s school schedule so he has study hall during Coach Mouser’s free period. Coach Mouser gives up his free period every single day to work with Tristan to ensure Tristan is staying on track, asking for help where needed, etc. Last week, we received report cards for the first 9 weeks of the 2nd semester. For the first time since entering high school, Tristan is passing every class except one that he’s still struggling with. He and Coach Mouser haven’t given up their hard work though so we’ll see what happens by the end of the year. Can I say that my son LOVES doing homework and doesn’t ever give anything less than 100%? Nope. He’s still a teenager who loves school more for its social aspects than as a stepping stone for his future, but there’s a difference now. Thanks to Coach Mouser, my son has seen what he can accomplish with a little hard work and a willingness to ask for help when it’s needed. He has seen that it’s never too late and there is no obstacle you cannot overcome no matter how difficult it may seem. I know those things will last well beyond Tristan’s high school years. Coach Mouser is a teacher / coach my son will remember for the rest of his life.

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