One of Ukiah High School’s newest teachers Michael Dursteler started his teaching career in Ukiah High’s History Department this year and is what some might call a legacy teacher being the second of his family to work in Wildcat Nation.
Many might recognize his last name from Katrena Dursteler, Wildcat Nation’s fashion and child development teacher. Mrs. Dursteler is Mr. Dursteler’s mom who not only inspired him to pursue teaching but even how he teaches. He made it clear that he thinks very highly of his mother stating, “I can’t think of anyone who cares more about their students, while simultaneously having high expectations of them.”
He began his college journey at Butte Community College, fell in love with the area, and decided to transfer to Chico State University to further his education which he has said was financially a great choice. Aside from his degree, he offers much more as an asset to Ukiah High. Considering his passion is history, Dursteler said, “Who wouldn’t want to talk about history all day AND get paid for it?”
Anyone in his course knows Mr. Dursteler wants to go above and beyond. One of his main goals is to motivate his students to invest themselves in history. Many students may be surprised at Mr. Dursteler’s admitted disinterest in school when he was in high school. He told us he, “Really struggled in school” and how it “Is a huge part of how I try to teach.”
Aside from being a dedicated teacher, Mr. Dursteler is a dog father to Sir Lancelot and Paige who he frequently spends time with—often using Sir Lancelot as a pillow. He also enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking. He also spends time reading, especially within the genres of sci-fi, fantasy, and history.
As we approach the end of the semester, here is Mr. Durstelers’ advice to Ukiah High students; “Communicate more… if COVID taught me anything, it’s how invaluable communication can be.” Most Ukiah High teachers hold this view. Remember your teachers want to see you succeed!
High school is a process of growth for both students and staff. Mr. Dursteler said he is looking forward to “Growing as a teacher, seeing my students have fun in and outside of the classroom, and hopefully winning the lottery.”