Alumnus and Coach Mikel Rathmann Moves Into Role of Campus Health and Safety Monitor


John Pham

New in his role but not new to La Salle, Mr. Mikel Rathmann joins La Salle’s staff as the new Campus Health and Safety Monitor.

John Pham, Assistant Editor

As students walk through the doors of La Salle each morning, the first face many of them see is Mr. Mikel Rathmann, greeting them with either a simple nod or thumbs-up as he affirms their clear wellness checks, a necessity for the realities of in-person learning this year. 

Mr. Rathmann is the school’s new Campus Health and Safety Monitor, having moved into this position near the beginning of the school year. In addition to checking wellness forms before school, Mr. Rathmann can often be seen surveying the halls and courtyards during lunch, ensuring students’ safety through distancing and masks. 

Although he is new to his role as Campus Health and Safety Monitor, Mr. Rathmann has been an active member of the La Salle community since he started attending La Salle. 

Hamersly Library had just opened in Mr. Rathmann’s senior year, and although La Salle has changed a lot physically since Mr. Rathmann last walked the halls as a student, he still remembers his high school experience, particularly his participation in lunchtime activities and competitions led by Student Council. “My class in my lunch period, for some reason, never really liked to get up and do lunchtime activities,” Mr. Rathmann said. “It pretty much became routine [for me to volunteer] when they needed a representative for my class.”

Despite initially wanting to become a civil engineer, Mr. Rathmann realized upon entering college that he wanted to be a PE teacher and decided to study education and exercise science. Earning his undergraduate exercise and sports science degree from Oregon State University and a master’s degree in education from Warner Pacific College, Mr. Rathmann hoped to stay in a school setting. Mr. Rathmann was the PE teacher at Christ the King School for five years and before that, he worked at St. Therese School. 

With the pandemic still impacting the La Salle community, the position of Campus Health and Safety Monitor will be important for the safety of La Salle. Mr. Devine had reached out to Mr. Rathmann about the availability of the position as he was already familiar with Mr. Rathmann as a coach and substitute teacher. “My goal is that I just help encourage the students to follow protocols and to wear a mask so that we may continue to keep coming [to school,]” Mr. Rathmann said.

Alongside his position as Campus Health and Safety Monitor, Mr. Rathmann is also excited to continue his role as head coach for the cross country team and track and field team as he has been for the last twelve years. “I’m looking forward to just being on campus and seeing the kids I coach,” Mr. Rathmann said. He is also looking forward to recruiting new students onto both teams.

As a former La Salle athlete, Mr. Rathmann empathizes with the struggles students face with balancing performance in both an athletic and academic setting. “I definitely know the pain and struggle,” Mr. Rathmann said. “I remember the double calf cramps I used to get in the middle of the night from a hard workout so I know that kind of pain and the mental fatigue that comes from running a lot of miles to train.” 

Mr. Rathmann’s athletic career at La Salle came to a zenith in his senior year when he was able to qualify for the state finals in track and field. Because he dedicated himself to track in his senior year, he said that it “made the achievement of qualifying for state even sweeter.”

Hoping for both the boys and girls cross country team to make it to state finals, Mr. Rathmann said it would be a goal for them to place in the top ten in the state. Although he admits that not everyone is going to make it to state, he said, “all I can do is push that desire or effort to try and accomplish whatever [their] goal might be. I know that nothing is ever going to come easy.”