Meet Coach Platko


By now we have probably all met or at least seen that tall bald guy with the red beard and tattoos. 

     If you’re like me you probably thought “whose older brother is here and why” and then walked into  your next class and realized “oh that guys actually my sub today”.

     He quickly became a familiar face around Kickapoo this year. I was super confused how some of my classmates already knew our new building sub, Coach Platko.

     Platko began coaching football during the 2020-2021 school year which was how some students already knew him when he began regularly subbing at school. 

     “I started with coaching last year, but I wanted to be more connected in the school. I began subbing and this has now led me into my Masters,” Platko said. 

     Most substitute teachers don’t get articles written about them, but then again most substitute teachers do not have as strong of a connection with students as he does. 

     Building personal connections with students is a huge goal he has. 

     “I knew the energy that kids feed off of and enjoy. It helps being younger as well to make references that kids understand. So it helps build connections through being relatable. I was surprised at how receptive students were to me and enjoyed when I subbed their class. It helped being a coach here, and being around the football players and also being there for  summer pride helped build those relations as well,” Platko said. 

     This year Platko began with a long term subbing position for Mrs. Wells teaching Lib and Law. After that he moved around a lot depending on which class needed a substitute. Then in the spring he began another long term substitute position for Coach Turner. 

     “I don’t have a favorite subject to teach, but I like getting to experience all the different subjects. I’m here everyday, even if I’m not doing a long term. I also do half days and then go see if Coach needs anything,” Platko said. 

     His plan for next year is to do his student teaching for Coach Thomas in the fall. After that he hopes to get a full time teaching position at Kickapoo. If job placement takes longer than anticipated, he will continue subbing here or find a temporary job at another SPS high school. 

     “My favorite memory from this year was probably building relationships when I subbed for Wells. I got to know more students and  I really enjoyed teaching the subject for that long and exploring new areas for content.  I got to meet a lot of really cool people,” Platko said.