Distinguished Graduates 2018: Mike Chavez—He leads by example as coach and athletic director


Mike Chavez, Class of 1982 wins academics Distinguished Graduate award.

Governor Thomas Johnson High School Athletic Director Mike Chavez, Class of 1982,  is being honored with the 2018 Distinguished Graduate Organization Award in Academics.

The Distinguished Graduate Ceremony is an event that  recognizes LHS alumni and gives them a platform to talk and inspire to the next generation of Linganore graduates.

Chavez said, “The DGO award is a great honor. I am very appreciative and humbled at the same time.  There are a lot of LHS graduates who work hard and make a difference every day. To be considered for this award is a blessing and a honor.”

Before his current job and settling at TJ, Chavez coached freshman football (1988-1994), basketball (1993-1999),  varsity football (1995-1999), then became a support teacher (1996-1999) and later an assistant principal in 1999.

When Chavez attended Linganore, he was very involved with the Lancer community on the football team (43), the captain of the basketball team, President of FCA, SGA, the Homecoming Committee, and 250 Club.

In the 1982 yearbook, Chavez said that in ten years, he would be “successful in life and living to the fullest.”  

He has achieved his goal. “I have been married to my best friend for 31 years, have four beautiful and healthy daughters, one handsome and healthy grandson…Been working in education for over 25 years and trying to make a difference every single day.”

Geri Chavez, his wife and a guidance counselor at Gov. Thomas Johnson High School, said, “I am so proud of him! He has always been my favorite Lancer!”

She said her husband “has had a very positive impact on thousands of students and hundreds of staff members over the years through his work at FCPS. He is a ‘natural’ when working with people both in the classroom and on the court.”

Before Chavez started began his teaching career, he was working in the business world. However, he didn’t find this lifestyle satisfying. He came back to Linganore to pursue coaching.

This job was so enjoyable that he went back to school to get a teaching certificate in physical education and coach full time.

After teaching and coaching, Chavez has had many administrative roles. These have given him experience in a variety of Frederick County high schools, including Oakdale, Frederick, Urbana, Linganore, and TJ.

Working at many schools, especially all in the same district could raise the question of school rivalries. Chavez said, “School rivalries are very interesting. It’s important to have them, but we need to be positive in our communications about other schools and teams. Competitive rivalries are helpful in building school spirit.”

He says he will be giving advice to freshmen. “Work hard, be patient, understanding and resilient. Find that global perspective.”

Chavez treats his students as his own children. He says to his daughters, “Do your best. Do not be concerned about a grade or a number, but to be able to look into the mirror and know that you have given the best effort in everything you attempted in life. I have tried to model that for them as well.”