Skating on to the Next Adventure

Science Teacher Michael Nanartowich Retires

Skating on to the Next Adventure

Savannah Smith, Staff Writer

After nearly three decades of teaching at Hudson High, science teacher Micheal Nanartowich is retiring. 

Nanartowich’s senior yearbook photo at Hudson High

An HHS alumnus, Nanartowich returned to Hudson High as a permanent substitute in 1989. He was officially hired as a teacher in the fall of 1990. It was then he began working with the program formally known as “STRIVE” for Hudson.

The STRIVE program was a cohort of students who experienced woodshop with their academics to prepare them for life outside of high school with hands-on skills. Nanartowich worked with former teacher Paul D’Alessandro to run STRIVE. D’Alessandro taught the woodshop part of STRIVE, and Nanartowich taught the rest of the curriculum.

“I taught the academics like English, social studies, math, everything. Paul and I did that for five to six years starting in 1990, it was our little puppy.” Nanartowich said of the program. 

After  STRIVE, Nanartowich took on the role of an anatomy and physiology teacher along with many different science courses.

“Teaching anatomy and physiology was my main thing. I had all anatomy classes from the very beginning and as things got shuffled around I taught athletic training, Principles of Bioscience, PLTW (Project Lead The Way), and HBS (Human Body Systems) before I returned to general biology, ” Nanartowich said.

Prior to teaching at Hudson High, Nanartowich taught at Marlboro High School as an athletic trainer and science teacher from 87′ until the spring of 89′ coming to Hudson the same year. He received his college degree from Springfield College.

Champion Coach

Mike Nanartowich, center, with his six 2019 Central Massachusetts All-Star hockey players from Hudson High School | Courtesy of @nanartowich/Twitter)

Along with being a successful teacher around Hudson High School, Naratowich also led the Hudson Varsity Boys Hockey team to multiple state championships.

“I have coached the Hudson Hockey team for 31 years. I thought I would step away but getting the team through COVID, I felt it was important for a new coach to walk in with a program that’s ready to be something great so after 31 years I finally decided to step away.”

Or so he thought.

In the 2023-2024 school year, Naratowich will take on the role of head coach of Boys Varsity Hockey once again.

In a 2019 article with BVM Sports, he elaborated on his love of the game.

“I love to scout, watch film, and prep,” Nanartowich said. “My players get detailed scouting reports on just about every opponent we face. Designing practice, going to practice and teaching the game is what motivates me each day. The challenge of playing an opponent and scheming a game plan is awesome, again, I love everything about it.

All I can think about is that team, how I can put my guys in the best position to succeed. It’s my job to put together a plan to out-coach my opponent, I love that process. Competition is a drug and it’s one that has driven me for 30 years.”

Lifelong Relationships

Two forces of nature and now retirees: June Murray and Mike Nanartowich

Being able to create different relationships with both students and teachers has been an important part of Narartowich’s teaching career.

“Over the years I have been able to establish relationships that I still talk to both students and teachers but those kinds of events have had a huge impact on me throughout my years here.”

Because Narartowich has taught at the high school for 35 years, he has made plenty of memories with many students and teachers at the school that still remain to be some of his most memorable moments throughout his years at Hudson High.

While remembering moments from over the last 35 years Narartowich came across the memory of his colleges and himself, ‘The other day I texted one of the guys, Don Martain who retired about 20 years ago, I sent him a picture of me, him, and my best friend Tom Rake who was a teacher at the school from 1993 the reply that neither he or I look that young anymore.”

Aside from the teachers that he has been able to connect with, student relationships have also made his time working at HHS very memorable and important for his teaching career which has been the best part about working here.

When asked what his favorite thing about working here was throughout the years, immediately his response was, “Student relationships. Developing those kinds of things, having fun, and making people laugh. Students will tell you, I bring a lot of fun into the classroom and am wacky at times,”

Being able to form smiles on students’ faces and make them laugh has always been something Narartowich has been able to pride himself on in the classroom.

“I believe that if a class is just learning content the entire time, in my opinion, it is not effective for students to learn. I think the classroom has to be fun in order for students to learn and everyone has to laugh, you have to laugh to learn.”

When the time comes for him to walk out of the Hudson High School doors for the last time, Narartowich is deeply going to miss the connections that he has made here along with the students that he has been able to make an impact on. However, he is looking forward to continuing his life with his family and being able to make new memories with them.

“When I leave here I am looking forward to spending time with my wife because she has made so many sacrifices for me with hockey and being able to take my kids to different places because I couldn’t because of baseball or scouting, we have missed out on memories because of being here and putting 110% effort into what I do.”

Along with being able to spend time with his family, Narartowich loves to paint and will pursue that when his time comes to leave HHS.

“I love to paint, it’s a weird thing but I really love it. Putting my headphones in and transforming someone’s home from this peeling disaster to this house that people can admire.”

During his senior year, he was voted  “Most Likely to be Heard” for superlatives. Anyone who has encountered Nanartowich in the halls, in class, or on the ice can recognize that booming voice from a mile away. It is a voice that will be missed.

Throughout his time here, Nanartowich has been able to impact so many lives in Hudson with his jokes and funny personality and his career at Hudson will be remembered for many for years to come.