Meet Lake View Physical Education Teacher and Co-Athletic Director John Neal

Q: What’s something few people know about you?

A: I've competed in over 100 bike races in Utah, Idaho, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Georgia, and Ohio.

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Q: What brought you to your current position? What do you like best about it?

A: My wife and I decided to move to Chicago in 2001 from a small town in Michigan. I taught physical education (PE) at the same elementary school in Pilsen from 2001-2018. I went to grad school at DePaul with the former athletic director at Lake View. He had asked if I wanted to coach at Lake View, and I ended up coaching junior varsity basketball and varsity softball from 2015-18. I got to know the students and climate of the school and really just enjoyed it so much that I wanted to teach there. Everything just kind of lined up this year, and a PE position opened up, which I interviewed for and was offered the position. After taking the PE position, I also was fortunate to take on the co-athletic director role. I now share those duties with Maria Ramirez, which has been fantastic. I love being involved with all the sports. I feel like I'm getting to know all the players from each team. It's made my connection to Lake View awesome.

Q: What was your own high school like? How was it similar to or different from the school where you work?

A: I'm from a very small town in Michigan. You know everyone in your class and most likely in every grade. Lake View is similar to my background in athletics, which is one of the really unique things about sports. It doesn't matter who you are or where you're from, the connection you have with your team and coach is the same everywhere.

Q: What’s one thing you wish people knew about your school?

A: There are a lot of options at Lake View that assist students in finding their group to connect with in the school. Lake View is a first option for many students when looking at CPS high schools.

Q: Please share one of the best moments you’ve had working at this school.

A: I really enjoy the sports teams, but I've really connected with some of my PE students who don’t necessarily have an athletic background and might be a little hesitant about getting involved in PE class. I take a lot of pride in trying to encourage students to participate. 

Q: What advice would you give to a student just starting out at your school?

A: You're going to be happy at Lake View. Teachers really care, and there are a lot of options for a huge variety of students. The improvements that have been made in the recent years make Lake View one of the best schools in the city.