MOULTON, Ala. — A love for math and basketball is what led Coach Darius Steger to where he is now as math teacher at Moulton Middle School, and he also had some people who inspired him along the way.
"My main influence for getting into education is my father," shares Darius Steger, the Valley's Top Teacher. "He's been teaching and coaching basketball for almost 25 years now. And he, along with some other teachers I've had in the past, really played a key factor in me becoming an educator."
Coach Steger's students say he makes math easier to understand by relating the math problems to real life situations.
"I remember how it was for me being a seventh grader or eighth grader, and with math, a lot of kids don't like it," says Coach Steger. "So, the main thing I figured that works for me is how to take a math concept and make it relatable to what they go through on an everyday basis."
Not only does he help shape kids into productive citizens in the classroom, but as a former college basketball player, he is now sharing his love of sports with students as a basketball and track coach.
"I am a basketball junkie through and through," h smiles. "A lot of skills that I have been taught, coming from basketball, are being resilient, being on time, fighting through adversity, especially when you have moments when you're down in the game."
Coach Steger is known for being a role model to his kids, but he is also known for one other thing - his shoes! Kids say they always look forward to seeing what sneakers Coach Steger is rocking to class.
"They ask me, you know, how many pairs of shoes do you have?" laughs Coach Steger. "Honestly, I do have over 200 pairs of shoes. So there's honestly not been a point where I wore a pair of shoes twice."
Although the kids love his shoes, they love the way he encourages them even more. He reminds them to push through obstacles and find the strength to always pick yourself back up.
"Life is life and we all go through and, you know, explain to them how they can figure out a way to you know get through a situation or be a better male, be a better female, across to their peers, to their parents, and overall just being an overall better person," shares Coach Steger.
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