Faculty Spotlight: Steve Monninger

College Counselor and Teacher – Middle School Physical Education
Department and Program Affiliations:
Athletics, Middle School, Physical Education, College Counseling, and Strength & Conditioning

Head Coach, Varsity Football
Asst. Coach, Junior Varsity Lacrosse
Director of Strength and Conditioning

Academic background:
B.A., Geology and Geography, Middlebury College
M.S., Higher Education and Organizational Development, Peru State College

How long have you been at Norfolk Academy?
This is my eighth year at Norfolk Academy.

Tell us why you wanted to become an educator:
I wasn’t sure about my professional path until a year or so after college. I thought I wanted to work in the developing field of Geographic Information Systems (GIS).  But after a season of coaching college football as a graduate assistant, I came to the crystal clear conclusion that I needed to work in a field that helped student-athletes reach their full potential. I also knew that I wanted to be in a fun and competitive atmosphere. Getting into coaching and teaching has turned out to be the perfect fit for me professionally.  

What most excites you about working at Norfolk Academy?
There is nothing more exciting than watching a student-athlete’s growth from 7th grade to senior year. During Middle School, I see student-athletes starting to develop their sense of self. During their JV years, I see student-athletes begin to determine what is important to them and what they value. During their varsity years, their dedication, training, and skill level increases tremendously and I get to see many of them transform into competitive warriors. That transition over a six-year span is one of the most remarkable things to witness.   

Norfolk Academy is unique because…
...our student-athletes are not boxed into just one way of living their high school years. They can “cross-pollinate” between athletics, arts, clubs, and leadership opportunities without suffering performance in one particular area. In an age of specialization, it is refreshing to see that we can demand a high level of commitment while still giving our student-athletes freedom to excel in many aspects of life as Bulldog.

What do you like to do in your own time/when you’re not working?  
I spend a lot of time with my wife, Caroline and my two sons, JJ and Michael. We like to camp as a family and take trips to the Outer Banks where I like to kayak and fish. I used to ski a lot, especially when I lived in Vermont.  And yes, I love to watch as much football on TV as possible.

Last book read:
Old School Grit by Darrin Donnelly

Favorite food?
It is a tie between steamed blue crabs and anything served at lunch in our refectory. (I love that place.)

A movie is being made about your life. Whom would they cast to play you?
That is a tough one to answer. Maybe…Woody Harrelson or Nicolas Cage?

Fun fact your students might not know about you/might find surprising:
I can’t breakdance, but I can do the worm.  

“When I grow up, I want to be…”
...good at fishing.