When he’s not competing in Egg Russian Roulette or coaching football, you can often find Mr. Strahine welcoming students to his zen den on the second floor. Today, we are excited to help you get to know West End Middle’s student counselor even better in our “One-on-One” series.
Are you from Nashville, and if not, where are you from and how did you arrive here?
I was born and raised in North Olmstead, Ohio, a suburb on the west side of Cleveland just minutes from Lake Erie. I originally moved to Tennessee from Ithaca, New York. I attended graduate school at The University of Tennessee in Knoxville and then moved to Nashville.
Tell us about your family — human, furry or otherwise.
My mom and stepdad still live in Cleveland, and my dad lives in Columbus, Ohio. My younger sister, Jenel, lives in Charlotte with her husband and their new baby. I absolutely adore my niece, Callie. I am fortunate to have a very close relationship with my sister and visit her often. I have three step siblings. Two live in Cleveland, and one lives in Houston, Texas. They are all teachers, and so is my sister!! I also consider my friends in Nashville to be my extended family including many of my dear colleagues at West End.
How long have you been working at West End, what is your position and what is your favorite part of the job?
This is my eighth year at West End as the School Counselor. In many regards, I am living my childhood dream of being an educator like my eighth grade English teacher, Bob Thery. He continues to be an inspiration in my life. My favorite part about this job is providing students a space at school to be completely human without judgment.
Tell us about the most memorable student you can recall.
Every student with whom I have worked has been memorable! I must admit that my experiences at Tremont have been the richest because I get to be with students in a very meaningful way, and so many of the students who have gone on that trip have provided me with enough memories to last multiple lifetimes.
If you weren’t at WEMS, what would you be doing?
If I didn’t have to work, I would be traveling the world. I have a list of places where I hope to visit including India, Alaska, Ireland and Thailand. My travels throughout the years have expanded my conscious awareness and shaped my views on love, acceptance, empathy and the beauty of the human spirit. If I had to work, I would be a school principal. I have always wanted to be the head of a school, and that is why I am completing my doctorate in educational leadership.
How do you enjoy spending your free time?
I love to cycle. Most mornings you can find me in the spin room at the YMCA or on the Shelby Bottoms greenway. When I finally get to India, you’ll most likely find me on a bike somewhere. I also love to eat and enjoy cooking and trying out new restaurants.
What is your #1 goal for the school year?
My goal is to give each person or situation my full and undivided attention. In a world with so much noise and chaos, I try to be fully present to each moment. This is rarely easy. However, I want to be able to look back on my life and say that no matter where I was, who I was with or what I was doing, I was totally there — mind, body, and spirit.
Stop by and say hi to Mr. Strahine, or drop him a line at Brian.Strahine@mnps.org.