For Jeremy Cue, there is music in math and vice versa. There is also football in Dungeons & Dragons. It is complicated, but indicative of Cue’s personality.
Cue is in his first year at Osage Community High School as a math instructor, his 12th overall.
After graduating from the University of Northern Iowa in 2010, he has taught high school math and coached football.
However, he found time out of his schedule to rekindle a romance with his college sweetheart Michaela. Their relationship began in 2006. It did not restart until 2017.
Since she lived in Decorah and Cue was teaching at Newton, it was a long distance relationship. When Cue became a Green Devil, the solution became Osage. The couple found a home in Cresco, where they can commute their separate ways each day.
They got married in the middle of a pandemic, in the summer of 2020. While planning the wedding, they had not accounted for COVID-19. A wedding of over 200 was cut down to bride, groom and immediate family in masks.
In 2017, Cue earned his master’s degree in mathematics from UNI, which allows him to teach college courses in high school. At Osage, he teaches algebra and introduction to statistics for North Iowa Area Community College. Before that, he taught for DMACC.
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“I think math is beautiful,” Cue said. He also loves music, singing and choir. “When I see an equation, a problem or a proof I’ve written, I think it’s just as beautiful as sheet music of a beautiful song. I really think it’s an art, like music or painting, and I do my best to get kids excited and passionate about it.
“It’s obviously also useful in real life, too.”
Cue has many loves. He fell in love with music while singing show choir at Southeast Polk. He also played the lead antagonist, Reverend Shaw Moore, in a high school musical production of Footloose. At UNI, he sang choir. That is where he first met his wife.
“Jeremy makes connections with his students, and he's always willing to go the extra mile for them,” she said.
While teaching at Newton, as a member of the Drake University Community Chorus, Cue was scheduled to perform the epic choral orchestral work Carmina Burana at the Des Moines Civic Center with the Des Moines Symphony. He was preparing for his dress rehearsal on March 13 of 2020, just before coronavirus swept through the country, when his director sent an email canceling the performance.
Another musical regret is not playing an instrument in band. However, he taught himself rudimentary piano from reading sheet music.
“I know how to plunk out a part, but I can’t do it fluently," he said. "I can play one melody, slowly.”
As for football, it is Cue’s favorite sport. His father took him to Iowa Hawkeyes games at Kinnick Stadium as a kid, and he also loves the Green Bay Packers. While appearances may be deceiving, Cue started as an offensive lineman at Southeast Polk, which plays in the largest class in Iowa.
He graduated from high school in 2006.
Today, as he sits in the Osage front office, he wears a different uniform – without pads – as the assistant e-sports coach for the Green Devils. Head e-sports coach is fellow high school math teacher Chris Kyhl.
“I love video games, so this is a perfect fit,” Cue said.
The last two schools he taught at did not have an e-sports team, and he is impressed with Osage’s computer science program.
At Newton, he also organized both the chess club and the Dungeons & Dragons club. Once a week, Cue plays Dungeons & Dragons on Discord with his UNI friends. Like football, it is a combat sport. Cue went from offensive lineman to dealing with elves.
In football for Cue, it is the intricacies of offense and defense and strategy, but also the physicality and competition.
“It’s exhilarating. I can still remember pulling around the left side and blocking someone in the open field. That stuff is etched into my mind.”
Appropriately, that is what he admires about the Osage staff, professionalism and teamwork, and excellence in both academics and athletics. Kyhl and high school math teacher Barb Foster have welcomed him into the fold.
“He's been a great addition to our math team and to our e-sports program,” Kyhl said. “He jumped in head first to our e-sports fall season and has done a great job leading and coaching that group. He’s always putting the needs of students first and obviously has lots of school spirit.”
Kyhl was impressed when Cue dressed as a Jedi master for Osage’s homecoming.
“It’s not just about the math, it’s about making connections and building relationships,” Cue said. “I want to be someone they can look to as a role model and someone they can trust to be a supportive influence in their lives.”
Jason W. Selby is the community editor for the Mitchell Country Press News. He can be reached at 515-971-6217, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.