Athletics, education, finance, travel: Mr. Munro does it all


Maxwell Gordon

Mr. Munro hands out loaner uniforms.

As students rush to change for their gym classes, Mr. Munro, the physical education aide, stands calmly through the hustle and bustle of the PE halls, gym rentals ready in hand, just as he does every day.

Munro values helping out whenever he can. Whether it be as a PE aide, a coach, a financial advisor or a father, helping people has been the mantra of Munro’s life.

“I really like helping people,” Munro stated. “Especially with PE, the whole philosophy for ALF is to maintain a lifetime of fitness. Learn to do things even old guys like me can still keep active.”

One of Munro’s well-known responsibilities is helping with the ALF classes, as well as supplying ‘loaners’ to students who need to borrow PE clothes.

“I get positive vibes from his presence. I see him every day I go to ALF, but I really only interact [with him] if I forget my strap,” Fernando Sanchez (12) stated.

Every week, Mr. Munro is in charge of taking the ALF classes into the bike room. However, attending to ALF is not all Munro does. He also helps with both Outdoor Ed programs along with helping at the swimming pool.

“I like all of [the PE classes]… I’m more partial to Outdoor Education,” Munro stated. “The cooking unit, the archery unit are like [activities] I’ve done outside of school.”

Also within the school, Munro is an assistant coach for both Junior-Varsity and Varsity school boys bowling teams, a position he has held for four years.

“[Munro] is one of our favorite coaches, he’s really funny and chill… As a coach, he was the guy who would calm you down and get you back on track,” Varsity Bowler Derek Jarrell (12) stated. “He was a really great help in turning someone who just rolls [the ball] down the lane, to someone who can string some strikes together.”

As the PE aide and bowling coach, Munro fulfills a variety of duties, but many students still students ponder, what more is there to Mr. Munro outside of what they see during PE periods?

Munro’s interests have always been within the realm of athletics. In high school, he played tennis for all four years.

Starting his education at McHenry College, then graduating from North Central College, Munro set his eyes on becoming an educator, specifically a PE teacher.

“I’ll play any sport, any time practically. My favorite sport is probably baseball. I played for 20 years after I got out of college. But right now, it’s more tennis and golf,” Munro said.

Given his life-long interest in athletics and the importance of helping, Munro wanted to find a way to combine both of these passions. Both of these aspects have played an important role in his life, making physical education a clear choice to Munro.

However, PE jobs were limited at the time, leading him to pursue a 30-year career in financing before getting back into teaching.

“The best thing I can say is to have a backup plan,” Munro stated.

Even in financing, Munro made sure to attend to the help of others. In his financial background, Munro has mostly operated as a financial advisor. During this financing tenure, Munro also worked as a substitute teacher.

“Having been a substitute [at the school] for 11 years before I started working as the PE aid, I’ve gotten to know a lot of [teachers],” Munro stated.

While athletics and education have always played a large role in Munro’s life, he also noted that traveling has been one of his other passions. Munro has been around a variety of states in the U.S. and even out of the country a handful of times: once to Canada and once in Mexico during a cruise.

Typically, Munro travels with his sons Jared, who is 25, and Alec, who is 20. Both of Munro’s sons are VHHS graduates. Currently, Alec is studying at Northern Illinois University, while Jared is working with the Chicago Opera Company in charge of sound and lighting.

Munro has experienced a lot throughout his lifetime, but through all his experiences, he has always found the time to put others before himself. To him, that’s just how he’s always been, and that attitude makes Munro beloved amongst those around him.

“We definitely all love Munro… He’s a great guy,” Jarrell stated.