Kevin Minor: Theatre Teacher, Soccer Star, and Friend to All

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Minor’s professional picture.

By Andrea Espino, Staff Writer

Kevin Minor sits at his desk, preparing for his first year as Niles West’s new Theatre Workshop teacher. The fun, laid-back and student-centric teacher enjoys interacting with his students and encourages them to bring as much of themselves to the classroom as possible. Minor’s love for movies and music helps him connect with his students, incorporating his lively personality into his classes.

So far, his favorite aspect about Niles West are the teachers. “The Fine Arts department has been super supportive, loving, and welcoming. They are, in fact, the reason I accepted this position. I was considering other positions but it was because of them that I was convinced this is a place I could grow and have an impact on the lives of my students so I’m very grateful to them for who they are,” Minor said.

“My first weeks have been great. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little overwhelmed with coming to a new district and learning a school I haven’t really even seen yet and, of course, remote teaching, but I’ve been really well supported by everyone here and they have really left the door open for me to ask questions and reach out,” Minor said.

Each day in Minor’s life is a little different based on what he teaches.  Minor teaches four sections of Theater Workshop, two on Monday/Thursday for Niles West, and two on Tuesday/Friday for Niles North. On Tuesday/Friday, he also co-teaches a section of Arts Appreciation with North.

Minor has spent the last five years acting professionally across America, and this summer he’ll be working with some friends from grad school to start a theater company. “I’ve acted all over the country, mostly on the east coast. I’ve done shows with Asolo Repertory, Contemporary American Theater Festival, Virginia Repertory Company, Heritage Theater Festival, St. Louis Shakespeare Festival, Nebraska Shakespeare Festival, and Writers Theater, as well as others,” Minor said.

Minor’s path to becoming a teacher came naturally. With a mom as a teacher, he grew up in a classroom. She later became a principal, and is now a superintendent of a school district in St. Louis. Minor had his fair share of being in and out of classrooms before he even started school. It wasn’t until a few special teachers walked into his life that Minor really realized what the future held for him.

“However it was in sixth grade, when I had my first black male teacher that I thought it might be something I would want to do because I finally saw someone who looked like me doing it. It was in high school when I had a really amazing theater teacher and some other English teachers that I thought I would like to teach theater or English,” Minor said.

Kevin Minor is from St. Louis and went to high school in Edwardsville, which is southern Illinois. After graduating high school, Minor attended Bradley University for undergrad and University of Virginia for graduate school. The switch to the Chicagoland area after growing up in St. Louis is still somewhat new to Minor, but he’s slowly getting accustomed to it. “I’m brand new to the area and have only been to Skokie to pick up my computer and another time when I was in high school for a soccer game against Niles West,” Minor said.

Although he’s new to the area and Niles West, he isn’t new to teaching. He briefly taught at Edwardsville High School before he went to grad school. “It was interesting because that’s the high school I actually attended so it was kind of cool being peers with teachers that taught me and coaching alongside the soccer coaches who coached me and have known me since I was 13 as a freshman,” Minor said.
Minor used to play professional soccer for a little bit until his ankle couldn’t take it. “As a soccer player I got invited to a few preseasons with some USL teams and actually made a preseason squad with the team in St. Louis, but I hurt my ankle again (I hurt both of them a few times in high school and college), so I was cut. After that I played on the professional indoor circuit with St. Louis Adrenaline and coached and played for St. Louis Shockwave,” Minor said.
Some of Minor’s goals this year are to fully understand how to make Zoom work and to finally master the use of Canvas. He also wants his students to be critical thinkers, and to grow as a teacher. It looks like he’s fulfilling his goals according to one of his theater students. “He knows exactly how to make you feel welcome and every thought you share is important to him. He is able to teach amazingly through the screen and on top of it all he is an incredible person who can make the whole class laugh. I am so glad to be in his theater class this year and wish that it was in person for the true teacher experience,” junior Olivia Benyamin said.
Mr.Minor continues to go above and beyond to reach his goal for his students according to another one of his theater students. “Mr.Minor makes his class an open space where everyone is able to talk freely and without judgement. He makes it seem as teacher and student are equal and not like he is superior over his students,” junior Isabelle Padron said.