An Inspiration at Liberty High

Mr. Wheeler has a positive outlook on life

Mr.+Wheeler+proudly+holds+the+spirit+stick+while+leading+the+new+students+on+their+first+day+of+school.+Wheeler%E2%80%99s+contagious+outlook+on+life+and+attitude+brings+joy+to+so+many.
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An Inspiration at Liberty High

Mr. Wheeler proudly holds the spirit stick while leading the new students on their first day of school. Wheeler’s contagious outlook on life and attitude brings joy to so many.

Mr. Wheeler proudly holds the spirit stick while leading the new students on their first day of school. Wheeler’s contagious outlook on life and attitude brings joy to so many.

Eric Mason

Mr. Wheeler proudly holds the spirit stick while leading the new students on their first day of school. Wheeler’s contagious outlook on life and attitude brings joy to so many.

Eric Mason

Eric Mason

Mr. Wheeler proudly holds the spirit stick while leading the new students on their first day of school. Wheeler’s contagious outlook on life and attitude brings joy to so many.

Alyssa Bailey, Reporter

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In the first two weeks that Mr. Daniel Wheeler began working at Liberty, he knew he wanted to stay.

“There’s so many things I like about Liberty – I love how new it is and I just really feel at home here,” he said. “The kids are great, the staff is awesome and the school is brand new.”

Wheeler is best known as an administrative liaison, a substitute teacher and an all around uplifting person at Liberty. But before he got to become the person he is today, he’s had to encounter past experiences that have been able to mold who he is.

He is in his fifth year in the building and has been here since the school was built but he’s been subbing for a total of two years at Liberty. His career at this school began when he was asked to sub for Mr. Eldredge for his P.E. class and as the athletics director.

When he first started subbing, he would only help out for three to four times a week, but when he returned for his second year at Liberty and got to know more teachers at the school, he was asked to be a substitute teacher for four to five time a week.

Wheeler has always wanted to be a teacher since his high school days. Before he graduated from Fort Zumwalt South in 1997, he originally wanted to be a French teacher.  He has always enjoyed and had an interest in foreign languages and when he was deciding to take Spanish or French, he chose French since most of everyone in his school took Spanish.

Like many students do, Mr. Wheeler later changed his major and wanted to be a physical education (P.E.) teacher because he’s loves all kinds of sports and enjoyed the thought of getting to do something new everyday while getting various exercises in throughout the day.

“Exercise changes people’s lives–it certainly helped me when my dad died–and I really got into physical fitness, as an athlete in high school. Physical fitness does so much for you–mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally, everything–that’s another reason I wanted to become a P.E. teacher because of the importance of it. It cures everything,” Wheeler said.

His inspiration for wanting to be a P.E. teacher pushed him to getting his degree in that field but when Mr. Nelson encouraged Wheeler to get his degree in Special Ed, Wheeler ultimately knew that’s what he really wanted to do with his life. He is, now, working hard to get his degree to be able to teach Special Ed. and he couldn’t be more thrilled.

“Mr. Nelson recommended I get my Special Ed. degree because he said I’d be really good with kids and it’d just be much easier to get a job because we have some amazing P.E. teachers here and they’re not going anywhere for quite some time. Our P.E. teachers are going to be here for the long haul so, he recommended I get my Special Ed. degree and I love the Special Ed. classes,” Wheeler said.

Wheeler has had worked at multiple jobs throughout the years before he stumbled upon Liberty. At first, he began working construction for eight years. He later on moved to Cecil Whittaker’s Pizzeria where he worked for 10 years. After that, he worked at Vista Grande for seven years, was an outside sales representative for one year and even was a bouncer in St. Charles for a total of two years. Eventually, college was on the backburner.

When his daughter, Addisyn who is a senior at Fort Zumwalt East, was born, Wheeler dealt with relentless jobs that had ultimately made him realize what he really wanted out of life. Wheeler’s love for helping people and wanting to bring positivity to life will be fulfilled by getting his master’s degree in Special Ed. because that’s his main goal at the moment.

Wheeler’s contagious outlook on life and attitude brings joy to so many and he explains how he can, everyday, act like this towards anyone, even on bad days.

“Negative energy. It’s so bad for the world and I try to encourage people to just think of the positive things and to just try to work together, and not be mean,” Wheeler said. “Just don’t be mean because there’s no reason to be mean, to anybody. I know there’s bad people in the world, but they’ll get caught – it’ll work itself out. Just spread the positive vibes and attitudes. That’s the main reason I want to be a teacher. I want to change the world. I want people to act like me – be friendly to each other, do the right thing, stay positive.”

Addisyn Wheeler has also mentioned how her father’s positivity influenced her throughout the years, and how it has molded the type of person she is today.

“He helped me through so many situations – from homework problems to the loss of a close friend sophomore year,” Addisyn said. “He’s definitely taught me to not sweat the small stuff and to always see the good in other people. He just brings out the best in me, even in the worst situations. He and I have always had a really close relationship – I’ve never met anyone in my life as caring, understanding and unconditionally loving as he is.”

Addisyn takes pride in having her father be the person he is, today, because while he guides her through life, he’s also an encouraging spirit that she loves dearly.

Wheeler also continues to say how all of this positive energy was first ignited. When he experienced the saddest moment of his life, his father’s passing between his freshman and sophomore year of high school, he came to the conclusion that he absolutely hates that feeling. The feeling of negativity always weighing him down was something Wheeler didn’t enjoy having in his life. So from that moment forward, he was forced to grow up and practice being positive because positivity can go a long way.

Senior Andrea Detterman also goes on to describe how Mr. Wheeler impacts her school day, which includes lifting up the students on bad days.

“He always stops to ask how you are and that’s always kind of a good feeling just because a lot of people don’t ask how you are since nobody really cares all that much but he’s always asking how people are doing and not just doing it because it’s the right thing to do. He’s doing it because he genuinely cares about the kids,” Detterman said.

Mr. Wheeler’s main goal in life is to brighten everyone’s spirits because if he can help just one person, it makes the most difference in the world to him. He encourages students and people, in general, to not care about being afraid to be who they are because it’s important to just be who you are and do what makes you happy.

Wheeler’s philosophy for life is to find something that makes you happy and then find something else that makes you happy because constantly having joy in life is a great source to happiness, which is how Mr. Wheeler became the person we all know and love, today.