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Seattle area teachers sent to Marine boot camp

Issaquah High School math teacher Kathleen Myers with former student Derek Fletcher at Marine boot camp. (Courtesy of Kathleen Myers)

A group of local high school teachers spent a week learning what it’s really like to be a Marine.

This summer, 17 teachers from the Seattle area gave up a week of their precious downtime to go to boot camp.

They were invited by the Marines to go to Camp Pendleton in San Diego and take part in five days of grueling physical and mental challenges so they would be better informed when speaking to their students about possible careers in the military.

One of the instructors was Kathleen Myers, a math teacher at Issaquah High School. After watching a video about the training, she was scared and intrigued.

“As teachers, our summers are precious every single day,” Myers said. “But, I thought, ‘I can donate five days to this because I think it’s going to change my life and my outlook on the military. And, it did.”

The best part of the week came when they got to eat lunch with some of the recruits from the Seattle area. Mrs. Myers knew that several of her former students might be there. Sure enough, there was Derek Fletcher. He was just “one of the guys” when he was in Mrs. Myers’ math class last year. Not anymore.

“He was so confident,” Myers said. “He was disciplined. I was so impressed with him! I told him how proud I was of him, not just because he was joining the Marines and going through what he was going through. He just seemed so mature and so grown up.”

When speaking with students about the military, Mrs. Myers has always come at it from a mother’s perspective. As in Derek’s case, her first response was, “What does your mom think?”

After learning about all the opportunities the military offers for personal growth, education and travel, she says that has changed a bit.

“I would be, as a mother, concerned … but excited as well,” she said.

And Mrs. Myers said she will definitely be encouraging other teachers at Issaquah High School to go to boot camp next year.


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