Tim Wehner and his various roles on campus

A paraeducator, weight room adviser and crossing guard

Arul Gnanasivam, Photo Editor

To the hundreds of students crossing the street in front of Lynbrook, there is always one familiar face: Tim Wehner. Rain or shine, Wehner is always at the front of school, greeting students with a huge smile and plenty of jokes as he helps them safely cross the road. But that is not Wehner’s only role at Lynbrook; students also see him critiquing athletes’ weight training form, as well as providing support for the community of special education students on campus. Whether he is serving Lynbrook’s community as a crossing guard, weight room adviser or paraeducator, Wehner can always be found laughing and connecting with students and staff.

Wehner first began working at Lynbrook in 1998, when a friend asked him if he was interested in coaching girls JV basketball. After coaching for about three years, Wehner had the opportunity to join Lynbrook’s community as a paraeducator.

“My primary role is as a paraeducator; assisting students as an extra layer of support in the classroom,” Wehner said. “I’ll visit various classrooms, but work most often with Mrs. Yang who heads the Academic Communications program and is an amazing student advocate and teacher.”

As a paraeducator, Wehner serves the community of special education students at Lynbrook. His duties change on a student to student basis, but generally, Wehner helps them do their best in school by supporting them in areas where they may need help.

“Paras here generally try to assist with note taking, executive functioning and any number of accommodations that may help students to be more successful,” Wehner said. “The caliber and helpfulness of teachers here certainly make our jobs easier; I suppose it is what we can accomplish together that matters as a school, community and beyond.”

Although Wehner’s job is to make students successful, he is careful not to do their work for them. Instead, Wehner provides support in their specific areas of need, which in turn allows for the students to grow and learn as an individual. Wehner’s personality shines through his work, and his coworkers can attest to how much care and attention Wehner gives to all his students.

Wehner also contributes to Lynbrook’s campus as a supervisor in the weight room, a role he started recently.

“I believe Mr. Blaschke, who is a knowledgeable trainer and coach, first asked me to help out about five years ago in the weight room,” Wehner said. “Mr. Wright has been quite supportive since then, as well as our current principal and athletic director, who are pushing for the weight room to be accessible to LHS students as much as possible.”

Every day after school, Wehner stays in the weight room to supervise students who use it. Wehner ensures the space is kept clean and organized, reminding students to wipe down and rack the equipment. Wehner helps them stay safe and be more efficient in their workout.

“My role in the weight room is safety first, and the students have to be taught that weight training is not typically about maximum weights or comparative egos,” Wehner said. “It is about injury prevention, stress reduction and having knowledge of body mechanics and function: muscles, ligaments, tendons, push vs. pull, flexibility and more.”

Wehner attributes his weight training knowledge to when he played basketball for Bellarmine College Preparatory. He and his friends were encouraged to work out regularly, and Wehner soon learned how each machine was used to improve an athlete’s performance. As the supervisor of the weight room, Wehner hopes to impart this knowledge on students who are in the same position as he was in.

“[Wehner] has been working out for a long time, so he knows what he’s doing,” said senior Jacob Lee, who often visits the weight room. “He wants everyone in there to improve, so he’ll encourage people and help people with their form.”

Although Wehner often gives students advice and tips, he also respects the students’ personal time in the weight room. Wehner sees the weight room as not only a space for students to improve their physique, but also as a space that students can use to destress.

The rest of Lynbrook’s students enjoy Wehner’s positive energy on the intersection in front of campus, where he helps the community as a crossing guard. Students who wait at the crosswalk can expect a big smile, friendly greeting and small chat from Wehner before starting their day. Wehner’s positive attitude is radiant and helps lighten students’ moods.

“Of course I am not perfect, but maintaining a positive attitude is one thing people and athletes can largely control, so I try to do my part,” Wehner said.

No matter the role, Wehner brings a positive spirit to the people around him. He maintains his gratitude for the people he has met and wishes to give back to the community that he loves.

“From the moment Mrs. Stober handed me a key to the gym 20 years ago when I first arrived as a girl’s basketball coach, I’ve been continually impressed with the quality, character and spirits in general of the students and staff here,” Wehner said. “A multitude of people to learn from and look up to.”