Teacher Feature: Mr. Daryl Illikainen


Francesca Geffre, Junior Editor

Mr. Daryl Illikainen is one of the health teachers here at RAHS. He also teaches one ninth grade gym class, but he says he has always gravitated toward the classroom. 

He has been teaching for four years here, but he previously taught at his alma mater, Hermantown for 23 years. It was a lifelong dream of his to teach at the very same high school he graduated from. 

After graduating high school, he went to play football at NDSU. He played there for five years and took a kinesiology class that drew his attention to being a health teacher. 

Mr. Illikainen says he likes to teach health because he thinks it is very interesting. He said, “I was in sports, and like kids, and the health and phy ed. curriculum deals with both.”

When Mr. Illikainen teaches, he fills his classes with personal stories from his life about real experiences. He explains, “if I can share things that are like, oh I’ve been through that, it’ll make them feel better.”

Along with being a teacher, Mr. Illikainen is a husband, father, and coach. He was one of the football coaches at RAHS, and has coached hockey, along with other sports. However, he is now hanging up his football jersey to coach our girls golf team. 

A lover of sports, he enjoys to watch all the professionals, including the Vikings, Twins, and Wild.