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2020 Locals Love Us favorite school coach: Elias Montemayor of Kingsland School

The Picayune Magazine readers and KBEY 103.9 FM Radio Picayune listeners voted Kingsland School's Elias Montemayor their favorite Locals Love Us school coach. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton

When Kingsland School ushered in its first high school students earlier this year, physical education teacher Elias Montemayor found a new set of challenges. High school students just don’t jump into a P.E. class with the enthusiasm of their younger counterparts.

“They don’t like to exercise,” he said in a matter-of-fact tone.

Montemayor has served as Kingsland School’s P.E. teacher, as well as its art teacher, for the past three years. It’s a role in which he thrives.

And it shows.

The Picayune Magazine readers and KBEY 103.9 FM Radio Picayune listeners selected him as their Locals Love Us favorite school coach in the Kingsland/Llano area.

Until the beginning of this school year, Kingsland School only taught kindergarten through middle school. Now, it has a ninth-grade class. The public charter school will add a grade each year until it is K-12.

Despite his freshmen students' reluctance to exercise, Montemayor gets them up and moving.

“I just have to make it different for them. High school students are more competitive,” he said.

He gets out there and participates alongside his students. He also tries not to tell them what to do.

“I try to make it more of a collaboration,” he said. “I let them try to figure things out. I think they do better when you give them a place to figure things out on their own.”

Montemayor also teaches art. Though the two courses might seem complete opposites, he finds they share a lot of benefits for kids such as utilizing different parts of the brain compared to academic pursuits.

In all, he explained, it’s about helping students grow physically and mentally.

It’s also a two-way street.

“I’ve learned a lot from the kids as well,” Montemayor said. “They keep me going, make me think of ways to do better every time.”

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