When Teacher’s Lounge launched in September one goal we had was being able to provide educators, administrators, and students with really great opportunities.

In September, we ran a contest for an inspirational assembly with motivational speaker Mike Marsteller. Marsteller’s school assembly program is designed to help teens and young adults be more resilient and find purpose in life. The program is based upon his own experience struggling with the constant void of a male role model in his life. At the age one, Marsteller lost his father to cancer. Marsteller uses his experiences growing up as a young man in Pennsylvania, and how he was able to find purpose, and direction in his life on his own terms.

Nancy Patterson, who teaches English at Southern Regional Middle School in Manahawkin, won the contest for her school.

In February, the school arranged for Marsteller to appear at the school. Here’s what they had to say.

“The “Cool to be KIND” assembly, presented by Mr. Marstellar, highlighted many key concepts that we stress at Southern Regional Middle School. Every child today walked away with strategies that they could immediately put to use in their own life to reach their own goals and to help others. Mike Marstellar was a high quality presenter that kept our students engaged while delivering a meaningful message to all,” said Patterson.

Lorraine Airey, principal at Shore Regional, penned the following about the experience:

A teacher in our school won a contest sponsored by Plymouth Rock Teachers’ Insurance. The prize was Mike Marstellar, a motivational speaker. What a “PRIZE” it was. The “Cool to be Kind” assembly, highlighted many key concepts that are stressed, reinforced, and used as feedback in dealing with students at Southern Regional Middle School. The program captured the audience from the minute Mike opened his mouth.

Mike’s generosity afforded us the opportunity to have two grade level assemblies. At the conclusion of the first presentation, I was wowed by what I heard. The entire presentation was certainly personal to Mike and the impact his father’s death had on his family. Resilience, perseverance, and leadership are words Mike used to explain choices one makes in their life. They represent the man he is.

Mike only mentioned the word “bully” once but the components of his message touched strategies on how to effectively live your life by being kind to others. Our students had a lesson in non-bullying without even knowing it. The following is a list of phrases Mike used to emphasize the concept “Cool to be Kind.”

  • Get to know the people around you.
  • Think about how you receive and perceive obstacles.
    Every time you hit a challenge, think about how you can use what you’ve learned.
  • Thoughts control our feelings, and our feelings control our actions.
  • Make every person you meet feel like they matter.
  • Exercise empathy.
  • Develop meaningful friendships.
  • Understand and develop who you are, not what you are.

The real measure of a successful guest speaker is to get feedback from the students. Southern Regional Middle School students were also WOWED by Mike Marsteller’s story. I am truly thankful to Plymouth Rock Teachers’ Insurance for giving my students the opportunity to hear the passion of Mike Marsteller.
Every student should have the same experience.


If you would like to have Mike Marsteller speak at your school…click here to enter.

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