Philip Roiko: Teacher, Coach and Inspiration to All

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Philip Roiko: Teacher, Coach and Inspiration to All

Philip Roiko in 1993 after he shaved his head in celebration for the girls soccer team winning the state championship.

Philip Roiko in 1993 after he shaved his head in celebration for the girls soccer team winning the state championship.

Philip Roiko in 1993 after he shaved his head in celebration for the girls soccer team winning the state championship.

Philip Roiko in 1993 after he shaved his head in celebration for the girls soccer team winning the state championship.

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Philip Roiko, Air Academy’s honors history teacher, is retiring this year (spring 2019) after 32 years of educating at Air Academy.

In tribute to his time here at Air Academy, the Jetstream Journal would like to honor his immense impact on the students and teachers of this school.

Roiko began his teaching career by attending Seattle Pacific Universtiy, playing divison two basketball while getting a degree in education.

Roiko explained, “Basketball has always been a big part of my life. Actually, my original plan was to be a teacher for only a few years and then continue into college basketball coaching, but kids have a way of changing that.”

Influencing and being able to connect with students has always been Roiko’s passion and the thing that drew him into the world of education.

Senior Liza Louthan, who has had Roiko as her head coach for all four years of high school, testified to his effect on the team and the basketball program as a whole.

“Coach Roiko played a huge role in getting us to where we were in the final four this year. Because of his ability to continue to learn, even as a coach for 32 years, he continues to find new ways to better our program.” Louthan described.

After such a long and dedicated career of teaching, his adaptability and cohesion with students and colleges truly makes him stand out as a teacher and coach.

Roiko continued, “My favorite aspect of teaching and coaching is interacting with students, I just really enjoy seeing creativity out of students and how it expands their learning.

About 15-20 years ago, Roiko decided to switch over to project-based learning in the classroom. Junior Molly Matheson, a student in his honors history class, described how this approach has aided her academic experience.

“All the projects make me excited to go to history, and I remember the information a lot better because I enjoy learning it.”

Roiko’s combination of flexible and student-centered learning displays his impact on the development of students and athletes.

In celebration of Roiko’s dedicated career and influence, he described a special story about the year 1993, while coaching the girls varsity soccer team and their state championship.

“I made a deal with the girls that if we won the state championship I would shave my head at an all school assembly and when I came home my daughter, who was young at the time, was frightened and thought that something had happened to me.”

The involvement and relationships that Roiko has created with his players and students proves to showcase his character of being a devoted educator.

Louthan also described some funny memories of the basketball season, ” Whenever we would watch film, it was just mostly watching him figure our how to use the mouse…”

After 32 years of championships, project-based learning, technology difficulties and many memorable stories, Philip Roiko leaves a legacy of inspiration and devotion to the education and development of young adults. The students, athletes and teachers are forever grateful for his impact on Air Academy High School.

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