Coach, teacher brings life experiences to classroom

Abby Botan
Contributing Writer

“I enjoyed my childhood, but being mixed race in rural Missouri was interesting to say the least,” James LeMay said about his childhood.

James Lemay teaches the class about vampires from the past and present on Halloween .  (Photo by Abby Botan)

James Patrick LeMay, born on July 7, 1977 in Minot, ND, was raised on an Air Force, base. His dad, currently retired, was in the military.

LeMay described Minot as a “cold place, but so much more slow paced and laid back, rather than Webster Groves.”

When LeMay was four years old, his family, which consisted of his mom, dad, older brother and himself, moved to another Air Force base in Whiteman, MO, where he grew up for the remainder of his childhood. When he was in sixth grade, LeMay moved off of the Air Force base to Knob Noster, MO.

As a child LeMay dreamed of becoming a professional football player in the NFL.

“Wrestling and track are my favorite because you succeed and fail on your own. No one can steal the spotlight or take the blame.  It’s very pure when you think about it,” LeMay said.

LeMay started college at Truman State and finished at the University of Central Missouri, where he got his bachelors in history and history education.  Also he earned a masters in activities administration from William Woods. Before he became a world civilization/coach teacher, LeMay worked as club security and sold real estate.

LeMay became a coach when he was 24 years old and a world civilization teacher when he was 28. LeMay realized he wanted to be a coach when he was coaching little league football while he was still working in the real estate business.

“Coaching makes me feel young,” LeMay said.

Hamise Askew-Sunkara, sophomore and previous wrestling student, said LeMay was an amazing teacher at what he does as a wrestling coach.

“I see him as a father figure,” Hamise said. “He pushes you to the best of your ability, and even if he pushes you too far, it’s going to benefit you in the long run. He makes you feel like you’ve known him, and he’s relatable.”

As a world civilization teacher LeMay’s favorite part is when the children come back to visit him.

Brooklyn Childs, sophomore and current world civilization student, enjoys being in his class. “He has a lot of fun, while teaching, but he’s also serious about learning, and overall he’s a very carefree teacher.”

LeMay and his wife Alysha LeMay have two dogs, Endymion, a German shepherd, and Jette, a pomeranian. He’s also traveled to Canada and Mexico, and went on a cruise to the Caribbean.

In 30 years, LeMay sees himself, happily, retired, he said.

Leave a Reply