A Conversation with Mr. Ferrell


Maddy Summers (Junior), Reporter

Known for his positive and kind spirit, Mr. Ferrell digs deeper to talk about his personal life, school, perspectives, and more.

Ferrell has always lived in Indiana, and grew up here in Lebanon. He has always adored the small-town experience, because it is where he felt the most at home. Once he had his two sons, he wanted them to have the same, so he brought his happiness and these experiences to them.

“I grew up in this community, and I know what it’s like to grow up in this community, and I really wanted them to have that type of experience of a small-town,” he said.

Family means a great deal to him, and makes him the most fulfilled. Ferrell takes pride in his two sons, who are successful and happy, but of course, the bickering.

“Family resonates the number one answer without question. I’ve got pretty successful kids and that helps. I think Luke and Jack have done things mostly right, but Jack sometimes pushes some buttons he probably shouldn’t push,” he said.

Growing up with a few siblings, his sister Teresa inspires him the most and is the person who keeps him going. Through childhood they had a strong relationship, where he learned a lot.

“My sister, Teresa, she’s down syndrome, and essentially she didn’t have other things growing up that were pulling her away, like clubs or activities. She was always right where I was, so we kind of grew up like twins almost. Seeing life from her eyes changes your perspective entirely,” he said.

Other than family, teaching and coaching are important passions to Ferrell. Diversity in the classroom and in his teams really interest him. He loves to interact and help students feel like he’s someone they can come to with anything. Watching students realize they succeed and are truly talented is important to him. He acknowledges other students’ thoughts, learning styles, skills, and genuinely tries to understand and help them to the best of his ability.

“I feel like I offer a perspective where usually that role as a father comes in first, and then teacher second. If I haven’t affected you in some way that makes me think you’ve connected with me, and I’m somebody you can’t rely on for a good conversation, I probably haven’t done my job,” he said.

Always wanting students to feel comfortable at what they do is something he cares deeply about. Creating bonds and taking the time to understand his teams and students, who he sees as his own kids. Being a teacher and coach has really helped him stay connected to his youth.

“I have a little bit of a Peter Pan complex in terms of I never really want to grow old, so whether it’s high fives in the morning, dancing to the music, candy in my classroom, I’m usually trying to stay in touch with that youthful side of who I am,” he said.