Monte Larsen

Monte Larsen 2012 always knew he wanted to be a teacher, and he knew he loved sports. At Morningside, he was able to pursue these two passions and turn them into a career. From nearly 75 applicants, he was chosen to be a fifth-grade teacher and the head cross country coach for the Sergeant Bluff-Luton Community School District.

"Honestly, I don't know what stood our for me from other people," he said. "Maybe just the way that I teach, but I learned all of that from my professors."

The job is perfect for Monte in about every way - location, school size, grade level, even the opportunity to coach cross country.

"It was pretty awesome how everything just kind of worked out," he said.

It helped that Monte had some amazing achievements at Morningside. He was the Elementary Student Teacher of the Year. He also earned national recognition on Morningside's track team. He was an individual national champion, he was part of a national championship relay team three different times and he was a 12-time All-American. Monte also had an Academic All-American honor on his resume.

"I was decent at track in high school, but definitely not what I turned out to be," he said. "A lot of it had to do with my team, everyone always there and always pushing you to do better. Pretty much everything that I use now as a coach and a teacher came from Morningside, just always putting my athletes and my students first before anything else and then helping them to get better in everything they do has been my philosophy."

Monte earned a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from Morningside in 2014.