My favorite teacher was Jack Branin from West Jordan High School. He taught history and was a football coach.

He was my favorite teacher because he took a personal interest in me. I wanted very badly to play football for BYU. So one fall day he took me to BYU and introduced me to the recruiting coach and Tom Ramage. I was a small player, but it got me excited. He helped me with some workouts and I was able to walk on after my mission and be a part of the team for a couple years. This had lead me to coach and be involved with youth athletics for 25 years

While I was a sophomore in college I was trying to decide what I wanted to major in. I visited Coach Branin at the High school to just chat, he recommend I try teaching. He allowed me to sit in on some of his classes and I was bit by the bug. I enter BYU’s secondary education program, teaching history. Coach Branin volunteered to be my teacher mentor and I student taught in his classroom. He constantly gave me advice, tips for classroom control, lesson ideas, etc. He even helped he to get a job interview in the Jordan school district, I was offered a full time history teaching position, but family circumstances took me out of teaching for 20 years.

After 20 years I found myself drawn to teaching again, only this time it was teaching Seminary in the Church Seminaries and Institute Program. Getting hired to teach Seminary is a very challenging process. I relied on many of the classroom tips Coach Branin had given me years ago and was blessed when I was hired. Ironically, my first Seminary teaching assignment was at Bingham High School, the very place I was offered my first History teaching job. The influence Coach Branin had 25 years ago, because he took a personal interest in a student like me continues to impact me in the classroom today.

Troy Donald McDougal