Mike and I first met each other my senior year of high school when he became my teacher at Wilson River School. My grades were bad and I was hardly on track to graduate to say the least. As the year went on, my attitude and attendance had gone from bad to worse. I could tell that I was a complete pain in Mike's butt, but he was a thorn in my butt too. Mike was not going to let me give up on myself.
He had a way of challenging me to get my work done. I always said that I was going to join the Marines, and that was how Mike got to me. If I was slacking or not doing the right thing, he would remind me that if I didn't pull it together I wouldn't be going in the Marines at all. One of the many lessons I learned in his class was that my actions have consequences and I wasn't going to pull a fast one on him. I could tell he cared and saw something in my that many other teachers did not. This pushed me to do better. These attributes are what makes him a perfect candidate for the school board.
If Mike would have just given up on me like so many other teachers had through the years, I could say for certain I would not be where I am today. With his guidance and tough love attitude I was able to pull myself together to graduate. Then I was able to fulfill my childhood dream of becoming an infantry Marine. Being able to do that has molded me into the man I am today, raising a family here in Tillamook. As a father with children in the school system, I trust Mike to represent us in the decision making for our children's education.
-Elijah Arvin, Tillamook