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Monday, February 24, 2014

Woodie Flowers 2014 - Mr. Bydlon

All this week, we will be releasing the awards we have submitted. 

Today's essay is our Woodie Flowers submission about our head coach and lead mentor, Jeremy Bydlon. 

“Who is your favorite superhero?” asked Jeremy Bydlon during a daily meeting. Students quickly responded with fictional characters from comic books, but then later took time to delve into the question. FRC 3313 Mechatronics’ superhero of choice isn’t the altered transformer on our shirts, or Thor, our robot: our superhero is Jeremy Bydlon, head coach of our team.

Since the start of his teaching career, Jeremy Bydlon blindly took reign of FRC 3313 for a running four years, along with founding FTC 7799 this year. He had absolutely no experience with tools--not even a drill. Within his first year of mentoring, students became equivalents by teaching and learning alongside him. He breathes support and trust through encouragement, allowing students to freely express ideas on internships and scholarships, regardless of its relation to robotics. Jeremy is only human; he knows every member has divergent talents. His incessant support has encouraged students to accept career opportunities, including job offers from sponsors.

A senior member, Lacey, describes Jeremy’s attitude of “singing and dancing around the robot room to be inspiration to the rest of us to be ourselves--not worrying about what others think.” Information is shared through networking and meetings, allowing the entire team to be involved in brainstorming sessions and major events. Even in chaotic build seasons, he insists that every student takes the initiative to aid other teams with troubleshooting or even writing. Giving students free rein to construct events had formed the success of the Bydlon Beard-Off; we gathered support from students and staff, permitting them to vote for a style of a beard Jeremy would shave his into.

As of 2014, he recruited three engineering mentors in the process of forming Alexandria’s first FTC team. Jeremy has always said, “Trying something for the first time is always the hardest.” Surviving his first year as coach of FTC 7799 paralleled his first with FRC 3313, and yet again students came to his rescue, now as student mentors. Students flourished as leaders and understood the troubles Jeremy has had as a mentor. FTC 7799 was successful and made it to State. As a result, our principal questioned Jeremy on his ideas for an engineering related class. After much discussion, it was decided he will be teaching FTC classes at the new high school. In comparison to the lack of FTC teams in Alexandria in previous years, there will be five teams this coming year.

Graduation approaches and some of us realize the current build season may be our last. During high school, we have all spent countless hours with our team and--most especially--our mentor. He has not only been our math teacher, but also our life coach. He has given more to us than what we ever could have asked. Like Thor, Jeremy is an everyday superhero to admire. Nearing our independence, we have gained a superhero that teaches, leads, and motivates us for the future.

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