Catching Up With Mr. Coad


Catherine Greub

As many amazing students walk through the doors of Lake Forest High School each year, it’s the teachers and staff that help them get through these challenging four years. Many “Lake Forest Staples” of teachers and staff have become very well known and a common name over the course of many years. When these teachers eventually leave, they leave all their positive impacts behind and their memory lives on. During this article, we will dig deeper and find out what amazing mathematician, Mr. Dan Coad, is up to these days.

What do you do now in your free time?

Everyone knows that Mr. Coad was always into helping and support his students all throughout his career. Now he spends “as much time as I (he) can with my three grandchildren. They are 3, 1, and 2 years old.  It is a great time being a part of their lives.” He was very excited to share!

Just as stated before, Mr. Coad loves helping and told me, “I (he) also have (has) a big heart for Haiti and have been there on five mission trips and keep in touch with people there and try to support them.” He continued that he “helps children learn how to garden, do art, and help with cooking class at Beacon Place in Waukegan. I am (He is) getting ready to volunteer with Art Impact as well.” Mr. Coad is definitely giving back to surrounding communities and helping out any place he can!

Any new hobbies you have picked up?

Mr. Coad said his new hobbies consist of “jewelry making, watercolor painting, acrylic painting, woodworking, and photography.  For two-and-a-half years I’ve (he has) been going to the lakefront every morning and taking a picture of the sunrise. It is certainly new and different every day.” How amazing is that? Great way to start the day!

What is something about LFHS or teaching that you miss?

When one reads the Rate My Teacher website page on Mr. Coad, there are nothing but positive reviews about him. Those are clearly profound statements of students and how Mr. Coad made an impact in their lives! Mr. Coad “really miss(es) the interaction with students inside and outside of the classroom.  I (he) really enjoyed getting to know the students and tried to help them navigate life as I (he) taught them math.”

Are you interested in ever coming back to LFHS?

Mr. Coad’s big heart really shows through on this response, “I really like to visit the high school and go to sporting events.  A highlight for me at Lake Forest High School was the ELS basketball game every year. I used to get to introduce the players and talk about their hobbies and things they liked to do.  It is an awesome event. I hope to be there for it this year in the audience.” Make sure you stop and say hey to Mr. Coad! Maybe even ask him a quick math question on your math homework!

Do you have any hopes or recommendations for LFHS?

“I hope that the students learn to be honest, compassionate, and caring human beings that add to the world now and in the future in positive ways,” Coad said. This will definitely hit home with some of us. Great words of wisdom, Mr. Coad!

Anything else you want students to hear about your new life?

I want to stress that they be kind to others throughout their entire life and not to put their career or money ahead of their families.  Also, realize that there are people that are not as fortunate as they are and try to help them out. Lastly, when you listen to someone, really concentrate and listen to them and don’t just jump in and say what you think without acknowledging what they’re trying to tell you.

Other takeaways:

  • Mr. Coad is very much enjoying his retirement and trying to be the best he can be!
  • Mr. Coad signs his emails Art Man Dan which is his new name at Beacon Place.
  • He has had such a great impact on the students at LFHS and encourages them always to be the kindest and most supportive!

While I have never actually met Mr. Coad, I can tell you that emailing back and forth with him this past week has been a privilege! He is amazing and truly a very kind man! Sure, his students had their doubts on the math homework but having him as a teacher must have been great! I can assure you that Mr. Coad has lived the best of his life at Lake Forest High School and is ready to continue to fulfill his life in this next chapter. Lake Forest wishes you all the best, Mr. Coad! Don’t ever be shy to come back for a visit! Your colleagues and students miss you dearly!