Citizen of the Week: Cullman High School’s Bryan Patrick

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Bryan Patrick
I want them (his students) to love what they do and to see that there are more important aspects of their work than just making money; it’s making a difference for the best in the lives of others by being a positive influence and role model with the people in their lives.”
Bryan Patrick, Cullman High School Coach and Teacher

CULLMAN – Some people truly enjoy their job, they wake up every morning and just can’t wait to begin their work day. Cullman High School’s Bryan Patrick is one of those people.

Patrick currently coaches soccer and golf and regularly substitutes in the classroom at CHS on a daily basis. He loves what he does and the students he teaches.

Patrick is a Cullman native and graduated from Cullman High School in 1989. He earned a B.S. degree in Secondary Social Science Education from Auburn in 1993. His parents, Bill and Sarah Patrick, are lifelong Cullman residents and are well known to many across town. Patrick has one sister, Amanda Patrick Booher, who was a Cullman High School track star before she graduated in 1994.

For some, teaching comes natural and for others it takes a lot of hard work. Most become teachers as a result of an inspirational person that has taught them at some point in their formative years. Patrick had two such people, Jim Miller and Dr. Joseph Kicklighter.

“I had great teachers throughout my career as a public school student in Cullman City, and my professors in college,” he began. “I could name several, but two especially come to mind.  One is Jim Miller. I had him for U.S. History 11th grade at CHS. He also coached the Scholars' Bowl team, which I was on for my junior and senior year. I loved his history class. I loved how he related so well to the students in his classes and on his teams. I said to myself, ‘I can do that – I would love to do that!’” he chuckled.  

“Then, at Auburn, I had Dr. Joseph Kicklighter for medieval history,” he continued. “I was kind of dreading the class because I thought it would be boring – Dark Ages was not an interest of mine.  But that man made it come alive! His lectures were tremendous, he was just so engaging and interesting – he made it truly come alive, and again I said to myself, ‘I want to do that.  I can do that.’  Both he and Jim Miller clearly enjoyed and loved what they did and were so happy doing it. I knew I would enjoy and be happy with it too, and I love it even more than I ever imagined. God has really blessed me with work I truly love and am successful at.”

Being a teacher and a coach is more than just a job for Patrick; it is his way of helping the next generation grow into responsible adults. For example, his students learn to take situations on the soccer field and apply them to their daily lives.

“In my coaching, I want our soccer guys to learn about life as well as soccer,” he explained. “I want them to see the life lessons soccer provides; things they can't/don't always learn in a classroom. I want them to learn the importance of character, integrity and teamwork. I want them to be diligent in the small things, day after day, week after week, month after month, and see how that leads to success in the big things,” he smiled.

“I want them to love what they do and to see that there are more important aspects of their work than just making money; it’s making a difference for the best in the lives of others by being a positive influence and role model with the people in their lives. I want them to enjoy their work and take great satisfaction in it. And yes, bringing the love and example of Christ to them and with them day after day and praying they see Him in me as we interact.”

Patrick's love of teaching and respect for his students goes above and beyond the call of duty. Thanks to people like Jim Miller and Dr. Joseph Kicklighter, Patrick continues the tradition of sparking young lives and inspiring them to grow in knowledge and into fruitful, responsible adults.