Familiar face returns with same caring desire for helping others

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Nandini Muresh

Coppell High School health science teacher Ray Pool assists sophomore Vidhath Mandala during first period on Jan. 25. Pool returned to teach at CHS this year after teaching at Argyle High School and Krum High School the past eight years.

Iniya Nathan, CHS9 Editor

Coppell High School health science teacher Ray Pool is known for his random acts of kindness. Just ask his students.

“There’s this kid that wasn’t in his classes or anything, but he heard that they were in the nurse’s office,” CHS sophomore Tanvi Rudrangi said. “So he sent him a bunch of snacks and $5 if they wanted to buy anything for lunch just because he was sick.”

Pool’s fellow educators appreciate his desire to help others as well. 

“When [Pool] comes onto a campus he makes it a point to find out what the needs are on campus,” CHS long term substitute teacher Brenda Brinkman said. “I have known him to go out of his way with families to do as much as help them with their electricity bill if their family had a parent who had lost employment. He has a huge heart for service. I’ve seen him do amazing things for people as far as giving them connections to healthcare if needed, providing food for them, any resources that they need. It’s just one of those best kept secrets because he’s one of those guys that does these things but doesn’t want the recognition for it.”

He also sponsors CHS Leo Club, which is a club dedicated to serving the community, which is another way Pool shows his support for the community. 

Pool was an athletic trainer and taught at CHS for 13 years before leaving the district for eight years. Pool spent two years at Argyle High School and six years at Krum High School as an athletic trainer.

“When [Pool] comes onto a campus he makes it a point to find out what the needs are on campus. I’ve seen him do amazing things for people as far as giving them connections to healthcare if needed, providing food for them, any resources that they need. It’s just one of those best kept secrets because he’s one of those guys that does these things but doesn’t want the recognition for it.””

— Brenda Brinkman

“Your retirement is based on your five highest years of your salary, so the more money you make over five years, your retirement is based on a percentage of that,” Pool said. “When I went to [Argyle], I got a bit of an increase in pay. I had known the trainer who was there beforehand, he actually was [at CISD] too. He called me and said he was leaving to do something else so I just followed him out there.”

Pool also left for Argyle because the class loads were smaller and he had less games to cover as an athletic trainer. He left Argyle for Krum due to similar reasons. Pool then returned to Coppell.

“What happened was, when I got those five higher years, I didn’t want to do any more athletic training,” Pool said. “Also, Laura Springer, who was vice principal when I was here, left to go to [Coppell Middle School East], and had come back to the high school. And of course, who wouldn’t want to work with Laura Springer? So when the job became available, I applied.”

Pool still covers some games as an athletic trainer. His favorite sports to work with are rugby and rodeo. He covered rodeo in college and used to be one of the athletic trainers for the United States national rugby union team.

He completed his undergraduate degree in education at Texas Christian University and his master’s degree at Arizona State University. Pool also has a state license in athletic training and a national certification in athletic training. Prior to teaching at high schools, he worked at an industrial medicine clinic and worked at several sports medicine clinics.

Brinkman also used to work at the district, before coming back this year. Brinkman left CISD to work at Krum ISD, and when she was ready to retire, she called Pool to inform him of the job opening. When talking about working alongside each other at CHS and others they have worked with before they left, both were on the same wavelength replying it is like “getting the band back together.” 

“Pool is like a brother to me,” Brinkman said. “He made it so that it didn’t feel like work being here. I have learned so much from him. The one thing I admire the most about Pool is that it’s not about the injury, it’s about the athlete. He is great at making connections with an athlete, and letting them know that he truly cares about them.”

Brinkman is currently back to teaching and according to her, the health science programs at CHS would not be like they are today without Pool.

“He was very instrumental in bringing [the pharmacy technician program] and the EMT program,” Brinkman said. “It didn’t exist before us. He was very influential with creating those relationships with [The Dallas College] Brookhaven campus. It’s really cool to come back and see that those things are still here.”

Another reason, the main reason, Pool returned to CHS was because of the students here along with the administration.

“The students here know the value of education and its importance,” Pool said. “That encourages you to want to teach at a place like this. We have an amazing administration. [Principal] Springer knows pretty much every student, knows their family, and knows what’s going on. [Superintendent Dr. Brad] Hunt came from within, so he knows the system backwards and forwards. The community knows the value of education. It’s a great place to teach.”

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