A Valpo Life in the Spotlight: Ray Tarnow

ray-tarnowThis week’s Valpo Life in the Spotlight is going to be familiar to many. Perhaps you know him from your kid’s football or basketball games, or maybe you know him from his teaching at schools in Northwest Indiana. If you don’t know him, then here is an introduction to Ray Tarnow: A Valpo Life in the Spotlight.

Tarnow was born and raised in Knox, IN. He completed his schooling there, playing football, basketball and track along the way. Tarnow went on to attend Anderson University where he stayed for one year, and then to Purdue University in West Lafayette where he played more football and received his bachelor’s in Education.

After college, Tarnow became an alternative education teacher at Knox High School and he taught there for two years. He then went on to Crown Point schools where he taught the same thing for the next 14 years. Now Tarnow teaches high school U.S. History at Crown Point. Recently Tarnow gained the position of part-time athletic director at St. Paul Catholic School in Valparaiso.

“I always liked to be a round kids and coach,” Tarnow said. “I’ve always wanted to be a teacher and I enjoy helping develop kids that I teach…I’m very happy. It’s nice to see a kid that you coach at eight years old grow up and be successful.”

Working at St. Paul is a win on multiple levels for Tarnow as he gets to coach, work with kids, and watch his own kids (Adam and Jake) as they are currently attending St. Paul’s. On top of that it’s close to home. Tarnow, his wife Michelle, and the two boys live in Valpo.

“I love Northwest Indiana. Valpo has changed so much since we’ve lived here. It’s people oriented and there is a nicer downtown,” Tarnow said. “It’s a great place to live. We’re close to Chicago, too. Valpo has a small town feel but not too small. You meet a lot of great people here.”

Outside of work, Tarnow is involved with the Knights of Columbus, which is a Catholic men’s organization that gets involved with community. He recently joined this past July. In his free time, Tarnow loves coaching where and when he can. He also likes hiking, but most of all he just enjoys spending time with his boys and his family.

And here is the piece of advice that he wanted to leave with you readers.

“A great coach of mine from back in high school named Jerry Horban said to me, ‘Focus on the positive things not on the negative things’,” Tarnow said simply.

Good advice from one great coach to another. Thanks for reading about Ray Tarnow: a most deserving Valpo Life in the Spotlight.