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ACT Prep: Mr. Nayagam

Juno Nayagam works to prepare juniors for the ACT.

Juno Nayagam works to prepare juniors for the ACT.

Zach Zeman

Juno Nayagam works to prepare juniors for the ACT.

Zach Zeman

Zach Zeman

Juno Nayagam works to prepare juniors for the ACT.

ACT Prep: Mr. Nayagam

This year, BSM welcomes new teacher Juno Nayagam. Replacing last year’s ACT prep class program with a new program found on Naviance, he will be teaching the junior ACT prep class, which takes place two days a week. 

Nayagam has previously worked with BSM as a substitute teacher and hockey coach. But before that, Nayagam was previously a full-time teacher in his home state of California. “I moved to Minnesota ten years ago for law school… so I’m a licensed teacher but also a lawyer… the reason why I came to BSM last year to be a substitute was because I did miss being in the classroom with students. And then this year when I had this opportunity for the ACT class twice a week, I took it,” Nayagam said.

Besides having Nayagam as a new teacher, BSM has a new class with the new ACT prep program. BSM switched to a program available on Naviance, the college prep website used by the school, with hopes that it will be more beneficial to students than the previous program. “[The Naviance program is] self-directed with support… there’s either a structured program where it has benchmarks you need to hit every week, or they look at how you did on the first test and then they give you a custom program… so I’m kinda hoping that students do really see the validity of that,” Nayagam said.

ACT Prep is a required class for all juniors, but Nayagam wants to make it an interesting class that students are eager to take rather than just a course requirement. He tries to keep his class casual: he asks his students to call him Juno rather than Mr. Nayagam. “True learning takes place when you’re actually part of the discussion, not just taking notes…[a] really relaxed [class], you know? … Make class fun, make it interesting, make it interactive,” Nayagam said. 

Although Nayagam is passionate about teaching and law, his favorite career is hockey. “I actually work full-time in hockey right now, in addition to what I do here. That was actually my biggest passion… and I decided a few years ago I was gonna take a step away from the law… as a full-time career and follow my passion. And so I jumped in with two feet, and I work in hockey full-time now, whether it’s coaching or scouting,” Nayagam said.

Nayagam made his passions of hockey and teaching into his career, but he has plenty of recreational passions as well. “If I have time, I snowboard a lot… I do volunteer work. I volunteer with a special needs hockey team, it’s called Minnesota Special Hockey… and I have a new puppy, so I spend a lot of time with her,” Nayagam said.

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