Myles Rheinhardt forging is own path after graduation

Published: 6/10/2022 6:09:52 PM

Modified: 6/10/2022 6:07:45 PM

When seniors reach the end of their high school careers, they’ve already started looking forward to the next step.

That often means sending in their deposit to secure a spot at their dream college or university, researching the best dorm, and scheduling college classes, hoping to avoid any early 8 am starts.

Conversations in-between speakers during Bow’s commencement ceremony at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium certainly featured plans between classmates to visit at different schools and stay in touch forever as they make their way through higher education.

Myles Rheinhardt has slightly different plans.

Rheinhardt will work for Reardon Builders in Bow during the summer as he is currently wait-listed for the Southeast Lineman Training Center. The 18-week course taught in Georgia will give Rheinhardt all the skills necessary in the trade, all with the pleasure of not having to read Shakespeare.

He is looking forward to a good-paying job, doing good honest work, sooner rather than later.

Rheinhardt, who was featured frequently in the monitor Sports section, was a stellar three-sport athlete for Bow and played football, basketball and baseball all four years of high school. Sports came seemingly easy to him and it was his favorite place to learn, where the lesson plans involved either a tackle dummy, work in the low-post or batting practice.

Where lesson plans did not come so easy was the classroom.

Rheinhardt was diagnosed with a reading disability in the second grade and felt the stigma of it. Any time he was called on to read aloud to the class, he would freeze up and skip words or even sentences just to make it through.

“When I took tests, people would finish way before me,” he said. “They’d always finish before me and I’d always wonder why am I last?”

But over the years he and his family developed a support system that built his confidence so not only would he read when called upon, but volunteer if it felt right.

He had a few teachers throughout his Bow School District career go beyond mere classroom instruction to help him through. None more important than his fifth-grade teacher, Anita Shaw.

Shaw and Rheinhardt worked together for up to two hours a day where all Rheinhardt did was read. Books, passages from literature, poems, whatever Shaw presented to him he read.

“I absolutely hated it,” he recalled.

Aware of his hatred, Shaw came up with a plan and incentivized his academic progress by stimulating his athletic interests. Rheinhardt, in dire need of a new baseball glove, had to fill out a “bingo-style” sheet and when the entire sheet was stamped – indicating he read all of his assigned material – Shaw gave him a Dick’s Sporting Goods gift card.

That glove he bought as a fifth grader? It lasted him all the way through his final game as a senior just last weekend.

Entering high school, Rheinhardt quietly knew that his plans after graduation didn’t include a four-year institution. His school counselor Kate Kulacz never asked the question where he wanted to go to school, but instead asked him what was going to make him happy.

On Friday, he listened as his peers, including class president Cailyn Benson and others like Ashely Panzino, Michael Pelletier and Abigail Denise all shared blended messages of enjoying the past while looking toward the future.

All of Bow’s seniors will be doing that, each in their own way.

Commencement speaker Heidi Pauer, Bow’s academic dean who is retiring after 25 years at Bow, advocated for each senior to “see the gold” in others and in themselves.

Rheinhardt has always seen the gold on a football field or baseball diamond. Now he can see the gold in his plans for the future.

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