Riedy revels in fun, run

By Amber Alerta
Staff Writer
Keith Bellof almost couldn’t bear it anymore. He felt the discomfort of being poked and prodded from crouching in a bush on what is now known as Scarecrow Alley. But soon enough, it would be all worth it, as the rest of the Morning Crew was turning the corner.
Mike Riedy and Dave Schnell both jogged down the street looking at the scarecrows tied to each of the trees. A smile crept on Riedy’s face, and the further down the street they ran, the bigger the smile got. Then all at once, Dan Puglusi, dressed as a scarecrow, jumps off the side of the tree straight out at Dave and screams, “AHHHH!”
“[Dave] almost pooped his pants,” Keith said.
But the Morning Crew’s shenanigans can’t last forever. Everyday when their 5 a.m run comes to a close, they button their shirts, grab their graded tests, and head to work. After finally beating the struggle of morning traffic, Riedy goes through the doors of Prospect High School, walks towards his classroom, sets down his backpack, goes towards the whiteboard, and begins to write down his practice equations for his first class, geometry.
Around Prospect, Riedy is known as the teacher whose class is never without a joke, pun or the classic one-liner, “fight the power.”
“I just teach,” Riedy said. “I just teach and if it’s funny, it’s funny. I do whatever it takes to keep me amused.”
It’s things like that that make Riedy a great teacher. That and 23 years of experience at Prospect. He not only believes in what he teaches but engages his students while he’s at it.
“He’s a good combination of fun and eccentric that makes you want to learn with him,” freshman David Fang, a former student of Riedy said.
For Riedy, making a career in education was always the goal. Since he was young, his teachers encouraged him to become a teacher himself.
“It was their demeanor, their kindness, the effect that I saw them have on not just me, but other students,” Riedy said. “So I kind of saw myself being on the other side of that and wanted to be there.”
But Riedy’s former teachers aren’t his only inspirations. He is being motivated day by day by the small things in his life. Whether it’s Keith Bellof and their running, his wife, Maria, and their kids or the students he teaches every morning, Riedy is always moving forward, as the things that drive him are all around him.
“I get inspired by lots of little things instead of one big thing,” Riedy said. “You see every football player after they score a touchdown say, ‘I’d like to thank God.’ That’s their big encompassing motivation. I don’t have that. Just little snippets here and there”
It’s thinking like this that helps Riedy go for his goals and exceed them. For example, his running. He could have just been satisfied with the fact that he runs daily, and has gotten more fit and active ever since, but no. Riedy went above and beyond and started running competitively. Six marathons and over 20 half-marathons later, Riedy has developed his passion for running.
Every morning, he’s got his running shoes in one hand, and his phone in the other, texting the rest of the Morning Crew that he’s ready to run. And as they gather and run their usual route, Dave Schnell can’t help but feel a little paranoid as they run down Scarecrow Alley, as Riedy smirks to himself. After all, the leaves are turning colors, the wind is getting colder, and the scarecrows are getting put up. It is almost Halloween season…