A multilingual asset


Joseph Messer, Online Manager

By most accounts, Mr. Michael Atkinson is a top-notch citizen. Good Samaritan. Responsible. Knowledgeable. Teaching runs in his blood.

Atkinson started his career in the Air Force and currently teaches Spanish. 

“I thought learning a new language would be interesting,” Atkinson said. 

While he was learning, he was serving as a translator. Atkinson was stationed at Fort Meade in Maryland while in service.

“I liked the idea of serving my country,” Atkinson said. 

Atkinson was an Arabic Linguist for the 22nd Intelligence Squadron. His title overall was a Cryptologic Linguist. In other words, he was primarily responsible for identifying foreign communications using signals equipment. The Cryptologic Linguist is crucial as the nation’s defense depends largely on information that comes from foreign languages.

After serving, Atkinson moved onto other things.

“I chose to do my student teaching at West Hardin,” Atkinson said. “While I was here, I  was offered a job as a teacher/coach for the next school year. Since my parents were teachers, I knew a lot about the profession and always admired it.” 

Sure lots of people learn different languages, but most of the time it is out of the need for a translation. Not Atkinson, he translates languages in his free time. Because no matter his job, knowledge intrigues him. 

“I compare it to a puzzle, where you have to use all your knowledge of the language and knowledge of other subject matter to solve it,” Atkinson said.