Tyler Schay – AVID support/Assistant FB Coach
September 30, 2021
Lincoln High School was empty on a late August day. Sunbeams reflected off building construction into the main office windows. Vice Principal Mariam Higgins heard an echoing of notes and honeyed drips of song down the hallways. The source? A football coach.
Born in Sacramento, Calif., Tyler Schay ended up in Oregon through the foster system. Adopted by his elementary school music teacher, Schay graduated from Franklin High School and went on to get a degree in economics at Willamette University.
Working as support-staff for the AVID program (Advancement Via Individual Determination) this year, Schay will help students reach their max potential.
“I’m here to help kids grow and understand what they’re capable of doing [by figuring] out what works best for each individual, and actually creating a relationship with these kids,” Schay said.
Schay also coaches the varsity football team’s defensive line.
“You have some good students here; you guys listen, you guys have a lot of respect,” he said. “You guys are [also] brutally honest.”
When he’s not in the classroom or on the football field, Schay likes to sing and play music.
“I dabble in all instruments, just well enough to sing to it, [and] that’s all I care about,” he said. “I like to freestyle, I rap, I sing, I do a lot of stuff. I make music. That’s my hobby.”
Vice Principal Higgins attests to Schay’s music abilities.
“When [Schay and I] first met, he was new to the building, so he asked me, ‘Do you have a piano here?’ Once the custodian unlocked the piano he started playing and singing beautifully,” she said.
Schay said he took to music through his mom.
“[My mother] and I met in her music class. In the foster care system, you don’t necessarily like the family sometimes, so I would stay in school as long as I could,” he said. “I would stay after school and play the marimbas, play a bunch of instruments, and that’s how we created a connection. She adopted me, and took in my sister as well. I’ve played music ever since, and she has molded me into the man I am today.”
Schay offered a message to Lincoln’s students.
“Don’t be afraid to approach and get to know me,” he said. “I listen a lot, I love having conversations.”