Donald Michelin, former principal of Haven Middle School and outstanding boys cross country and track teams at Evanston Township High School (ETHS) spoke at the EFAM 2018 picnic last Saturday, August 18 before being awarded the group's Community Service Award by EFAM President Mike Murray.
Michelin was twice the cross country coach at ETHS. He led the program from 1985 to 2003, stepped aside due to his duties as principal at Haven Middle School, then took over again in 2009 and served as both the head cross country and boys track coach.
Michelin has since retired. His son, Donald Michelin, Junior, succeeded him in 2017 as the new head boys cross country coach at ETHS.
In his remarks, he attributed much of his success to community members -- including Hon. Delores Holmes, Family Focus Evanston, Lonnie Wilson, Bob Boss, Hon. Lorraine Morton, and the famous Willie Mays -- who supported his work and offered him opportunities to move up.
"When you have the chance to get an opportunity, you don't throw it away," he said.
He addressed the audience:
"Young people, we're getting ready to start school. Parents, parter up with your children's teachers, form a relationship," he said. "You don't have to go to the school every day. Send them emails. And go online to check your children's grades every single day. Be on top of what your children are doing at school."
"Children, if you need help, don't be afraid to ask the teacher for help. That's why they're there. Your parents are paying that teacher's salary through their taxes. Ask them those difficult questions and allow them to answer those difficult questions."
"Three things I want everybody to remember," Michelin said, "one: never ever hurt yourself; two: follow rule number one; and rule number three: if you always do what you've always done then you'll always get what you always got. If you don't like what you're getting, change what you're doing."