By Massai Walker, Staff Writer, Class of 2020
I’ve had the luxury of being able to attend Verbum Dei for each of my high school years. Teachers have come and go, but for me, one teacher stood out the most. Mr. Jensen Fluellen, or “Coach Flu” as he is known to the students, is like an older brother to me. I’ve had him as an instructor all four years at Verbum Dei: he taught or facilitated Physical Education, Study Lab, SAT/ACT Prep, and Homeroom. He’s also the moderator of the Black Student Union, an organization that I’ve been a part of since my freshman year.
The thing I appreciate most about Coach Flu is his willingness “to keep it real with you,” even when you don’t want to hear the truth. During my sophomore year, my grades took a huge fall; I was not in the right place mentally. I had a talk with Flu that really changed the way I approached school. It takes a very special person that deeply cares about you, to tell you what you need to hear. Flu pushed me outside my comfort zone and helped me realize that I’m great.
I think the Coach Flu’s greatest strength is his ability to be personable. I can always go to him when I need to talk, and he’s always there with the best help. Since he went through four years as a Verb student, it’s easy for him to relate to some of the issues that we face on a daily basis. Flu has many roles on campus: he’s a coach, teacher, mentor, and counselor. There’s not that many people like that in the world.
Thank you, Flu, for always being patient with me when I act like a fool. Thank you for always being available. You have always had an open-door policy for me, and I’m blessed to have you in my life.