Name: Jay Freerking

Hometown: Mauston, Wis.

Title: Math teacher, JV girls’ head basketball coach

Business: Cuba City High School

Jay arrived at Lakeland with a passion for math and basketball. Now, a few short years later, he’s enjoying a blossoming career that involves both interests.

The 2011 Lakeland grad teaches mathematics and is the head girls JV basketball coach at Cuba City High School.

“My mom was a teacher, and I wanted to follow in her footsteps, help people out and pass that passion on to my students,” says Jay. “I always enjoyed math and crunching numbers.”

Jay, who stands 6-10, had to stop playing basketball at Lakeland due to a back injury. But he continued to be a part of the program, supporting his teammates and learning nuances of the game while steadily sparkling in the classroom. That combination of academic and extra-curricular dedication planted the seeds for his career.

Always a self-starter and motivated person, Jay blanketed the state’s schools with applications as his college graduation approached. When Cuba City High School called him with an offer to interview, he jumped in the car and drove 192 miles. As he pulled back into the Lakeland campus more than three hours after leaving Cuba City, he received a call with a job offer. He had a full-time job before graduating.

At Lakeland, Jay says, he developed his own philosophies on teaching based on what he learned in the classroom and from his professors. In addition, he enjoyed delving deeper into math.

“My experience at Lakeland was worthwhile,” he says now. “If I had to sum it up with one word, it would be worthwhile. Everything fell into place for me there.”