Getting to Know: Mr.Russell

Getting to Know: Mr.Russell

Mr. Russell is an 8th grade English teacher here at Irving. He was born in Washington, moved to California at 5, then moved to western Nebraska at 10. The town he lived at only had 2,000 people and there really wasn’t anything to do. Apparently, it was pretty boring and only had two restaurants, but Mr. Russell had a close group of friends to hang out with and was also in a band! Mr. Russell finished in the top 10% of his class but wasn’t really good at Spanish. He ended up going to a community college where he met his wife, Molly.

Mr. Russell has a powerlifting hobby, and he really wants to be good at it. He wants to be able to deadlift 700 pounds and he even has a meet in January.

His favorite subject growing up was Math, and it was also his strong suit. He started liking English when he had this one teacher that make things click. He also enjoyed band and considered himself a ‘band geek’.

His biggest accomplishment was graduating college as a first-generation college student and getting his dream job as a teacher!

When asked to explain his middle school years, he said that is was hard for him. He didn’t really have a lot of friends and he had no one to relate to, they were either rural or wealthy kids whose parents owned businesses around town. In the 8th grade Mr. Russell became depressed and wasn’t really motivated. This is why he went into teaching, he wanted to be the kind of teacher he needed growing up. Also because in college he was tutoring for money but he loved it when he saw people click when they made the connection in their brain. This is what made him switch from engineering to education.

Some advice he would give to middle schoolers today are:

“You will learn to stop caring what others think about you when you realize how little they do… Everyone cares about their own sweatiness!”

A motto that he lives by is: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” He keeps it as his motto because it’s a reminder to not wait to change as a person or to do better.

His wife is his role model and that’s because… “She’s a beautiful, wise, caring woman, and her loving heart and healing soul just come naturally to her. She inspires me because I pretty much want to be her when I grow up.”

Currently Mr. Russell doesn’t have any pets. He eventually wants to get two corgis that will be named Rory ‘the corgi’ (so kids can’t pronounce it) and Evie (after Pokemon).

Some of his favorite books are Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace, Holes by Louis Sachar, and he also enjoys books by John Steinbeck.

His favorite meme at the moment is ‘Surprised Pikachu because it is relatable. His favorite vines are ‘Two bros chilling in a hot tub,’ ‘Road work ahead,’ ‘You can’t sit with us,’ ‘Hurricane Tortilla,’ and many more.

Mr. Russell likes to watch Drew Gooden, Danny Gonzalez, and Cody Ko on YouTube.  His favorite TV Shows are Mad Men, Glow, Arrow, The Flash, & The Sopranos. Some of his favorite movies are Monty Python and Lady Bird.

Mr. Russell doesn’t travel but he wants to go to Las Vegas because it isn’t as humid compared to Nebraska.

5 years from now, Mr. Russell sees himself with kids, in graduate school, hopefully still teaching at Irving, and able to lift a 700 pound deadlift.

10 years from now, Mr. Russell sees himself buying a house, being a better teacher, and able to lift a 900 pound deadlift.

Mr. Russell has a funny personality and is a great educator just living the dream. We are lucky to have him here at Irving!