Good Talk: Mr. Fellers

Meet the motorcycle-riding math teacher of NASH!

Brady Crow, Staff Writer

How did you find your passion for math?

I found it when I was in middle school.  It was a combination of some things I was interested in, but it never came easily to me.  It was lots of hard work in college. As I taught more and more, I continued to make more connections.

What other careers were you considering?

I had considered pharmacy, engineering, and physical therapy.  I also wanted to join the Air Force, but because of tensions in the Middle East at the time, my parents said no.

When you were in high school, what was your experience with math class? 

It was actually fun, but not so much for everyone around me.  I remember always trying to get my homework done before leaving the building. I never wanted to do it at home. I always had math homework but helped others in study hall with their math, too.  None of my family went to college and all my friends went into trades.  Looking back, being conscious about my homework made my grades good enough to get into college.

How long have you taught math, and why did you choose to teach at NA? 

I’ve taught math since 1993.  My first job out of college was teaching computer literacy.  My second job included teaching physical science.  I wanted to come to NA because I just had two children, and I wanted them to grow up in a reputable community that I was involved in.

If you weren’t a math teacher, what other subject would you like to teach and why?

Tech ed or physics.  Physics is basically math, but you gather data before calculations.  Besides, I already taught it. Tech ed is something I’m very interested in.  It involves more math than most people think.  Lots of applied math, too.

What is your favorite part about teaching math at NA?

The students and making connections with them in my math class.  Also, being in the community long term and recognizing student when I’m in the area.  Random high-fives when I’m shopping at Walmart make it pretty awesome.  My wife is more of a private person, but I love it.

What’s something that students don’t know about you?

I’m pretty open about what I share with students, but I guess they don’t know that I love the symphony.  It’s something I learned about when I met my wife.  She’s a music lover, and my daughter is a cellist.  Through going to her concerts, I began to love the symphony.

If you could take a road trip anywhere in the country, where would you go and why?

I’ve gone on a lot of road trips.  I want to go on one via motorcycle.  I would take all the back roads through the Tail of the Dragon. My favorite trip ever was to a motorcycle rally in Canada. The scenery was amazing.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why? 

My favorite superhero is Batman because he doesn’t have a superpower.  He’s just a night vigilante with crazy gadgets.  So probably something like that.  A lot of my dreams are about being a night vigilante, so that definitely would be my superpower.

What is your favorite childhood memory? 

I would say the vacations we took.  I am the oldest of four siblings. I loved the vacations we took to the Outer Banks.  It wasn’t like it is now.  It was still kind of desolate.

Your students know that you enjoy riding motorcycles.  How did you get into that? 

I didn’t grow up riding dirt bikes like most riders did.  I think I was in my 30s, and I took a motorcycle safety course.  I got a permit and learned to ride, but prior to that I never operated a motorcycle.  It just grew from there.  I lead rides sometimes, but I like riding by myself or with my wife sometimes.  It’s fun for me to make a trip itinerary, avoiding as many left turns as possible.  My wife does the hand signals from the passenger seat. My bike is a Harley Davidson Street Glide.  It’s a touring bike.  Riding is very enjoyable for us.

What has been the best moment or aspect of this school year? 

My answer is kind of weird, but I’d have to go with afternoon cafeteria duty.  I sit outside with the students who catch the Beattie bus. I like getting to know them and spending time with them.  That’s been the highlight of my year.