TESTIMONIALS
Matthew Palmer (Former student/player)

Mr. Walker has played a major role in my transformation from dependent to independent. He was a coach and principal of mine for 6 years. During our time together he was able to teach me many valuable lessons about growth and striving for greatness. While playing baseball on his team, I was taught the importance of facing adversity and managing emotions while doing so. I can remember multiple instances being frustrated with myself, others, and external circumstances. Over time, Mr. Walker worked with me to get through these situations and create a plan to overcome these challenges. These small instances compounded into creating a strong foundation for dealing with all of life’s challenges. Whether it is dealing with high stress negotiations for work, relationship challenges, or inconveniences, I now have the tools to strive through these situations. A large part of my progression with these areas of my life has been that Mr. Walker taught me to step back from my emotions, analyze, and then create a plan of action to overcome and achieve. This is a consistent trend with everyone he works with and people that are close to him. He is focused on helping others maintain constant growth to be better people. 

While Mr.  Walker is able to help with constant growth and moving the needle forward, he is also a great example and teacher of compassion and sympathy. He has a unique ability to be able to acknowledge others, make them feel heard, and guide them through their hardships. In my eyes, the difference between a good mentor and a great mentor is one that will assist in growth, not tell you how to change. Having Mr.  Walker as a mentor never felt like I was being told where to go in life and what to do, rather guiding and assisting throughout the way. That approach is key to creating lasting change in an individual’s life.

Julia Ladick (Former student/player)

I attended New Way Academy from 2013 thru 2017. New Way is a K-12 School for Children with learning differences.  I came to New Way with many learning challenges.  Mr. Walker was our Principal and Basketball Coach.  Mr. Walker always challenged me in practice and got me out of my comfort zone.  He also taught me valuable life lessons that have helped me throughout my young adult life such as always being true to myself and never giving up. Today I am working as a Vet Assistant and I’m very grateful for the support and lessons I learned from Mr. Walker. 

Tony Malzone (former student/player)

Oh Mr. Walker, where do I even begin. To me, Mr. Walker was many things – my principal, coach, mentor, and friend. Around five years ago a younger me was struggling to find his way through high school. Growing up, I always had trouble in school. I came to New Way Academy in my junior year, discouraged, defeated, and distant. I had given up on everything I had dreamt about as a little boy, and if there was anywhere I wanted to be, it surely wasn’t a classroom. In our initial admissions meetings, Mr. Walker was optimistic and consistent with the idea that with the right mindset, motivation, and strategy, I could do great things. I remember as if it were yesterday, he told me, “Just stick with it Tony, I promise.” I might not have believed him then, but optimism and consistency were exactly what I needed.

As my time went on at New Way, he worked closely with me on an individualized plan that suited my needs, and interests. He held me accountable and pushed me to be an advocate for others and myself by getting involved with school activities, trying challenging classes, and most importantly, asking for help when I needed it. Through his actions, Mr. Walker taught me what it means to be a leader, an advocate, and a role model. Through his words, he taught me how to plan, learn, and execute. I entered high school as a young kid mad at the world, scared of the future, and yearning to be someone other than myself.

I left high school as a young adult, in awe of the world, empowered by role models, and yearning to leave the world just a little bit better. During my transition and towards the end of high school, I had straight A’s, presided over the math club, won awards like the most improved student of the year, and most importantly, if there was anywhere I wanted to be, it was now a classroom, with conviction. I know that a story like mine doesn’t just happen. This takes the right person to stand up and believe. When nobody else did, Mr. Walker stood up and believed in me. I might not have believed him then, but I stuck with it, and this is what he promised. The truth is there aren’t even words that could describe the level of impact Mr. Walker has had on my life. I’m the person I’ve always wanted to be. I know myself, I know my worth, and I know that I’m capable of doing great things. Mr. Walker is the one that never gives up, and that truly is the greatest lesson he’s taught me, stick with it and never ever ever give up!

Cooper Brown (former student/player)

There are a few individuals that make up critical examples in your life and one of those that had a tremendous impact on me was Mr. Walker. We became familiar with each other in 2009, When I was a young and reckless boy. Over the course of more than eight years he became an integral part of my development into a young man.

As a principal he was always looking out for the best interests of every student. Spending time with individuals personally and legitimately caring. Something at the time I have never experienced before by anyone in my prior educational experience. From the sense of devotion to myself, and my learning, I grew to love learning. This had a profound impact on how I would view my entire academic career and life moving forward.

As a coach, Mr. Walker did a wonderful job, leading myself and the team into one of the most tremendously beneficial developments of our character. A coach’s job is not to merely instruct an athletic activity but is something much greater. It becomes an analogy of life, of failures and successes, any individual to motivate and lead you into something that forges you into a stronger person. And I can say that Mr. Walker personified this ability, and forged not only myself, but many others into stronger people.

Mr. Walker has been not only a principal and coach, but a friend. Spending time with him on a personal level allowed me to connect as more than just an authority figure.  He is a great man to be around that was not afraid to have difficult conversations – not because he wanted to, but because he knew that it was what is best for you.

It was through his work and leadership that I developed into a stronger and better man. As a figure that I could look up to as an example of diligence, hard work, leadership, and compassion. There are no other people that I would qualify to handle such sensitive material as not only myself, but other young people that are lost and need real guidance in their lives. I am eternally grateful for so much of the work and impact that was given to me though a man like Mr. Walker.

Lauren DuBois (Former Colleague)

The Real Deal!

If I had to sum up Mr. Michael Walker in three words it would be – the real deal. His leadership and mentorship in my life is invaluable. When I walked into his office for the first time as a twenty-two year old recent college graduate, I was lacking direction and overwhelmed by the idea of entering the workforce. He began speaking about the students we would go on to serve together with such sincerity, passion, pride and joy. I knew then, I wanted to be a part of whatever he was building.

He exemplifies servant leadership, combining professionalism with compassion for each student.  I saw the impact he made on our students first hand as their classroom teacher.  They excelled under his leadership and many, if not most, went on to graduate with honors, earn scholarships and become leaders in their respective careers.

Mike is going to invest into every single person he has the opportunity to work with. He will find the good in each person and help them see it, too.  He empowers people to build a brighter future for themselves.  It’s truly what he does best.

I’m thankful beyond words I had the opportunity to gleam from his leadership and I know you will too!

Elizabeth Farhart (Parent)

Coach Walker gets teens.  He has the uncanny ability to understand my teen, what makes him tick and how to motivate him.  This program has been a game changer for our family and I am so grateful that my son can participate.

Bonnie Brovitz (Parent)

At first, our son was hesitant to participate in this program, but after his first meeting with Coach Walker, everything changed. Now, he absolutely loves it. Coach Walker’s guidance has been pivotal, fostering remarkable progress. The dynamics between our son and Coach Walker have been extraordinary. Coach Walker’s unwavering support, understanding, and guidance have played a pivotal role in our son’s growth and development.

The program’s guest speakers and social events have added valuable insights and connections.  Overall, this program, with Coach  Walker’s support and the support of the Junior Mentors, has sparked meaningful growth and friendships with our son. We’re excited about his continued progress in this exceptional program.

Mickie Lara (Parent)

“We were thrilled to find out that Mike was going to be offering this kind of service with TEAMS Coaching. We felt like it would be the perfect type of support that would benefit our son after graduation from high school.  New Way provided him with so much support over the last five years and this opportunity to continue working with Mike, in a 1:1 setting, is the perfect next step for our son and all of us as he works through the transitions to this next phase of life. 

We have already seen changes in terms of him feeling more responsible for things around the house he knows he can do as well as taking care of himself.  Mike has also been a great support to him as he navigates his first job. Mike worked with him the day before he had a job interview and I could tell how much more confident he felt and said “I already talked to Mr. Walker about it!” when I mentioned practicing to him. As parents, we can talk to them about these things all day long but when he can talk things through with Mr. Walker, someone he trusts and feels comfortable with, it makes all the difference. 

The social events are also something we were really looking forward to and Jackson has really enjoyed those too. He was so excited to see some of his friends from school as well as some of his favorite teachers there too. It can be tough when you transition out of high school and all of the friends and teachers you are used to seeing so this has been such a great way to keep those relationships going and to let him know that he still has that support.  

I would recommend Mike and TEAMS to anyone considering this for their kids! ” 

Rose Cheke (parent)

With all of the negative messages that our kids receive, it’s great to know our child has a place that focuses on strengthening character & making good choices. As parents, we want the best for our child, but sometimes they just don’t hear what we are saying. Coach Mike is a trusted advisor that gives the same guidance as we do-but in a way that our child ‘hears the message’. 

Our family has benefited from TEAMS.

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