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Lacey Teacher Moves on to 'New Opportunity,' 'New Lifestyle'

Mark Geiger, a math teacher at Lacey Township High School, leaves district to referee professionally

Mark Geiger has two passions — the classroom and the soccer field.

As of Friday, Feb. 1, the high school math teacher will be leaving one for the other.

After teaching at Lacey Township High School for 17 years, Geiger, 38, will be leaving the district to referee professionally. His resignation was approved at the December Board of Education meeting.

“It was hard,” Geiger said of his decision. “(Lacey’s) a great place. I’ve had a good run here.”

Geiger began reffing at 13 years old as a way to make a few extra bucks. Over the years, he was seen by the right people and went professional, he said. Most recently, he refereed at the Olympics.

To reach his goal of refereeing at the World Cup, Geiger would need to put more time in at seminars and tournaments. Major League Soccer and US Soccer will now be employing referees through the newly created Professional Referee Organization.

“It was something I would have to do,” he said.

By refereeing with the Professional Referee Organization, Geiger will partake in both classroom and field training, he said. He would be assigned to games throughout the season.

“It’s a new opportunity. It’s going to be a new lifestyle,” he said. “It’s exciting.”

Leaving the classroom, Geiger said he’ll miss the kids most but couldn’t pinpoint a favorite memory from his time at the high school.

Geiger was involved in many extracurricular activities in addition to teaching, including the math, pep and drama clubs.

“Each one of those things brings out a memory,” he said.

High School Principal James Handschuch has known Geiger for many years. They even taught in the district together, Handschuch said.

“Leaving high school and throughout college, I always wanted to be a math teacher,” Geiger said, adding that his mother, who was also a teacher, was possibly his influence.

“I enjoy teaching because you are able to teach, mentor, guide and influence children,” he said. “So many of our children are looking for positive role models and people to look up to.  I like being that figure for them.”

Geiger enjoyed teaching the students that math is an “exciting subject” with practical applications to their daily and professional lives, he said.

“So many discoveries can be made using mathematics, and I really enjoy watching the students make these discoveries in my classroom,” he said.

His goal was to instill confidence in his students that they can “do math,” he said.

And that he did. Last year, every student that took the AP mathematics exam, passed and earned college credit, Handschuch said, an uncommon feat.

“By being a teacher, he chose the right profession,” Handschuch said. “He knows the task at hand.”

Geiger is all about “student learning,” he said, adding that he has a certain way with the kids.

“There’s definitely a gift there that he has and shares with the students,” he said. “He’s a good man. He’ll be tough to replace.”

Handschuch was proud that Geiger had intentions to remain with the district as a active substitute, understanding his need to leave.

“It’s something he has to do,” he said.

In the past Handschuch has turned the television onto a professional soccer game and saw Geiger at work as he has made game-changing calls.

“It’s really sharp,” he said.

GB Shore January 18, 2013 at 01:54 PM
One of the best teachers my son said he ever had. He was always proactive not only with my son, but to my wife and I. Good luck....one of the nice people in Lacey. Good for him.
tr January 18, 2013 at 05:00 PM
Finally, someone from Lacey Township makes it to PROFESSIONAL SPORTS!!!! Not football but, FUTBOL(Soccer) for all you uneducated sports enthusiasts. Maybe smarter to steer our girls and boys into athletic programs that are INEXPENSIVE to run, require minimum equipment, cost taxpayers only one(1) coaching stipend, and has proven success??? Yeah, I know all you football people are really mad at me now...
GB Shore January 18, 2013 at 05:24 PM
So how did we get from a teacher following his passion to a discussion about the cost of athletics?
Chrissy January 18, 2013 at 10:35 PM
I had him for senior math he was a great teacher
Tara Roe January 19, 2013 at 12:20 AM
Congratulations Mr.Geiger! Good luck in this exciting next chapter. Thanks for all the great HS memories.
charlotte January 19, 2013 at 01:41 AM
Congratulations Mr. Geiger!
Michelle Brinson January 19, 2013 at 03:31 AM
Congrats Mr. Geiger! You will be a missed. Happy you get to follow your 2nd passion.
Dennis Craig January 19, 2013 at 12:22 PM
Mark, congratulations on this chapter in your life. Some thoughts that were not mentioned above: you were one of the Best youth referee's in NJ. You helped make many of the local soccer tournaments especially the Lacey Soccer tournaments a success. You were/are part of the NJ State Soccer Referee training program and also influenced many of the young and OLD referees to improve their skills. It has always been a pleasure to see you referee a game. Thanks.
Mikey rudimen January 22, 2013 at 05:25 PM
Mr. Geiger was sure fun. 2001 remember us and tenth period man.

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