Cowboy, DJ, teacher

First slide

The summer of 2011 was a time of change for Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria. Almost a dozen faculty members left the school, allowing for a new wave of young teachers to arrive for the 2011-12 school year. One of these teachers, Greg Monroe, has already left his mark on the Ireton community. Monroe, a government and human geography teacher, has earned the moniker "Superman" for his colored past, vibrant personality and multitude of activities.

Monroe was born outside of Dayton, Ohio, and still carries a distinctive Ohio accent. His students have quickly learned that "ruf" means "roof," and "Bridden" refers to "Britain." As the oldest of six children, Monroe had an eventful childhood. He "spent a lot of time camping, hiking, and going on wilderness adventure trips in New Mexico and Canada," activities he still enjoys. As a member of 4-H, a national youth society run by the Department of Agriculture, Monroe learned skills such as raising pigs and boarding horses.

The enjoyment of animals and the outdoors prompted Monroe to pursue biology at a "small college in Ohio." While there, he worked at a wildlife rehabilitation center, caring for animals such as foxes, eagles and great blue herons. After his freshman year, a different passion called Monroe, and he transferred to Christendom College in Front Royal to study politics and business. After an internship in Washington, D.C., he graduated with degrees in political science and economics.

While at Christendom, Monroe played rugby and basketball for the Crusaders at the same time that another, more famous, Greg Monroe took to the court for the Georgetown Hoyas. Although Ireton's Monroe was not drafted by the Detroit Pistons in the top 10 in the NBA draft, he still has a unique "name's the same" story.

Monroe's first job out of college was as supervisor of West Coast operations at a company in Los Angeles that worked with event departments at colleges such as the University of Southern California; the University of California, Los Angeles; Stanford; and other University of California and Colorado State University campuses. Monroe refers to the job as "a great gig that allowed me to travel up and down the West Coast." Once the economy turned sour, however, Monroe reverted back to his first passion and took a job as a ranch hand 40 miles south of Durango, Colo.

At the ranch, Monroe's duties as a cowboy included building fence line, tending side rollers and crops, assisting in cattle branding and herd maintenance on horseback, and operating farm machinery. While he enjoyed life on the ranch, Monroe felt compelled to pursue teaching, an interest that began in high school when he taught ballroom dance classes at the YMCA.

Monroe was offered a job at St. Louis School in Alexandria, which brought him back to the Arlington Diocese. At St. Louis, Monroe taught computers for two years before moving on to his current post at Ireton.

His motivation for teaching comes from "an element of interaction and spontaneity within teaching that I greatly enjoy. And ultimately, it is a profession that allows me to influence students in a positive way."

Outside of the classroom, Monroe has become an assistant coach for the Ireton freshman boys' basketball team, which had a 4-1 record as of early January. He also started a dance club, which meets weekly to practice the latest steps and music.

Monroe runs his own disc jockey and emcee business, which serves weddings as well as school dances at St. Louis. This fall, he coached the senior girls in Ireton's annual powder puff football game. The team won in overtime.

Monroe enjoys hiking, performing in plays and playing the guitar. While Ireton was blessed with over a dozen new faculty members this year, "Superman" has brought a new spirit and attitude to Cambridge Road.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2012