Long time Nyacker and Nyack teacher Mike Longuil has gone on to his final "class." He passed away Oct. 3 at the age of 79.
Mike’s life-long love was being in the classroom. He simply loved the kids in his class and teaching them skills to make their lives easier.
Mike graduated from NHS in 1950 and soon found his way into the US Army and off to the Korean War half a world away. After the army, he attended Bowling Green University in Ohio graduating in 1956 with a degree in education and industrial arts. He came home and began teaching in Nyack High in the fall of 1956. Mike continued his education and received his Master’s Degree from City College of New York and subsequently a certificate of advanced study from the University of Vermont in 1972.
In a career spanning 32 years he taught more than 4,000 of Nyack’s kids in Industrial Arts, Mechanics and Mechanical Drawing. Throw in several thousand more from his 17 years of driver’s education, summer school, and in addition to his teaching duties, a great deal of kids knew him as “Coach.”
For 22 years Mike coached Football, Wrestling and Track. Mike had a great influence over a great many kids who attended his classes and in sports.
I knew Mike when he taught me “Shop” at the old NHS. He worked hard to get me in shape for a wrestling career. (Boy, was that a mistake.) I guess my closest association with Mike didn’t come from school, but from trout fishing. Mike was a Master Dry Fly Fisherman. He was taught by one of the best, also from the halls of NHS, Bill Desmond. Mike could not only beautifully present a juicy dry fly for a trout swimming in a pristine stream in upstate New York, he could make and repair bamboo fly-fishing poles. For those who know a bit about
fly rods, know a split bamboo rod is the best when chasing those illusive “brookies.”
Most recently Mike became active in the Nyack American Legion Post and was elected our Commander. He was a special guy who gave everything he could to Nyack Kids, Veterans and Fisherman.
“There are hundreds of kids you fall in love with. Black and White kids, big and small kids. That’s what I’ll miss the most – my kids. I’m one of those people who couldn’t wait to get to school on Monday.”
—Mike Longuil on his retirement.