Who is Mr. Robert Trantin?

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Emily Baddour, Writer

Since some students of Archbishop Spalding are all virtual because of Covid-19 this year, I conducted an interview with Mr. Trantin. I thought it would be a good way to introduce him to everyone. Mr. Trantin is a new teacher at Archbishop Spalding but he is not completely new to the Spalding community. He is a Spalding alumni of the class of 2001 and has been the hockey coach at Spalding since 2009. During the first semester, I took Fitness Mastery and I was lucky to have him as a teacher.

What Mr. Trantin did before college and where he went to college:

“So I actually took a couple years off in between graduating from Spalding and attending college to play ice hockey in Boston. In ice hockey, it is very common for players to continue after high school in what is called “junior” leagues. These are predominantly amateur leagues which allow players to further prepare for collegiate and/or professional leagues up until the age of 20.  Once I reached that age, I attended SUNY Morrisville in upstate NY.  At the time, the majority of the academic disciplines were two year programs. So following those two years, I then completed my undergraduate studies at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT, earning a BA in Political Science with a minor in Middle Eastern Studies.”

The sports Mr. Trantin played in high school and college:

“Sports are a passion of mine. At Spalding, I played both ice hockey and baseball. At SUNY Morrisville, I was recruited to play ice hockey where we won two NJCAA (National Junior College Athletic Association) National Championships. Afterwards, I moved on to Sacred Heart University where I actually didn’t play ice hockey and instead walked onto the football team.”

Coaching: 

“I have been coaching hockey since 2009 when I rejoined the Spalding ice hockey program as an assistant coach. Since that time, I’ve had the privilege of coaching hockey to brand new players as young as 5 years old all the way through Division 1 athletes. I also became the head coach at Spalding beginning with the 2014-15 season.”

Teaching: 

This is my first year teaching in a classroom. However, I’ve recognized a lot of similarities between coaching and teaching, so I feel I was very well equipped and prepared. Coaching is teaching and teaching is coaching; the ultimate goal is to help others improve and gain mastery of their discipline. The only difference is the subject material. 

The reason why Mr. Trantin became a Fitness Mastery teacher: 

“With my passion for sport, athletics, exercise, and fitness deeply rooted in a lifetime of activity, physical education sits near and dear to my heart. Being a conduit for others to gain the same appreciation was very attractive and I am in the very enviable position of looking forward to my job every single day. It is a privilege to share the multitude of positives associated in fitness with young people.”

What it was like to start teaching during a pandemic: 

“Frenzied might be a good word. There were so many changes and variables each and every day that it was difficult to stay on track. We’ve literally spent our entire lives doing things a certain way and now that way is off limits. I didn’t really feel comfortable until I embraced the fact that there was so little I could control. It’s very easy to get rattled by all the challenges, so I just had to learn to keep my head down, focus on the task at hand, and be flexible with any and all alterations. I’ll tell you this though, our leadership has been fantastic. Not for a second have I felt unsafe in our classrooms or hallways. Spalding has done a magnificent job uniting as a community and sticking together.  I’m proud of our administration, teachers, leaders, and most of all our students.”

How Mr. Trantin managed to teach a Fitness Mastery class with Covid-19 

restrictions: 

“It was a lot of trial and error. A huge credit to Ms. Bailey and Ms. Barchanowicz for leading the way and for finding creative ways to make this particular class work. We basically had to re-tool the entire curriculum and do that on a weekly basis. There were a lot of burnt pancakes but I think we ended up doing an excellent job.”

His favorite part of being a teacher and coach at Spalding: 

“That’s easy; the students. Whether it is teaching or coaching, it is my goal to be a positive influence in the development of our youth. There is nothing like playing a part and witnessing their progress and success firsthand. It’s what makes it all worthwhile.”  

 

It was a pleasure learning more about Mr. Trantin. Now, when you see him in class, hallways, or at the rink, you will know about all of his wonderful contributions he is making at Spalding. When I asked Mr. Trantin if he had anything else to add he said, “I  cannot wait to see all of you out in support of all our student-athletes once again, especially over at Piney Orchard Ice Arena. Go Cavs!”