The student news site of Mount Carmel High School

The Caravan

The student news site of Mount Carmel High School

The Caravan

The student news site of Mount Carmel High School

The Caravan

Mr. Wilson jumps into the Caravan

Nicole Polan
Mr. Wilson is excited to help the young men of Carmel improve their algebra skills.

“What’s going to happen now that Coach CJ is gone?” 

This was a question many freshmen had once Mr. CJ Cesario, their math teacher and head track coach, disappeared.  The answer is now here with Mr. James Wilson. 

Mr. Wilson grew up on the South Side of Chicago and attended Brother Rice High School, where he gained a passion for track and field. He then attended Monmouth University and got a business degree. He never actually intended to go into teaching. When he graduated from college,  he planned on going into the business world to hopefully find success there. 

“I started subbing after I graduated,” said Mr. Wilson. “I never planned on being in a classroom again after school was done, but something brought me to it. I couldn’t say exactly what it was but being around the kids and being able to help them grow and make better decisions, teach them. That grew into a passion for me.” 

Story continues below advertisement

Prior to being hired as a math teacher, Mr. Wilson had agreed to work as an assistant track coach here. After Mr. Cesario left for another opportunity before Christmas break, both a math teaching position and the head coaching job were open. 

“Originally [assistant coach] was all I was supposed to be here for,” said Mr. Wilson. “Then coach CJ got a new opportunity that he couldn’t pass up on. From there it was just passed on to me to take over. He also left behind his position as a math teacher. When me, Coach Segroves, and Coach CJ all talked we figured I might as well try and go for it.”

While he’s only been teaching for four years, Mr. Wilson has found an ability to  relate to his students and build a rapport with them. Students have grown comfortable joking with him about being a Br. Rice graduate among the Caravan. Mr. Wilson sees his job as more than just the immediate subject matter.

“Being able to come here and teach these young men not only how to be men but also the subject math as well is just the best thing for me,” he said. “I am extremely happy for this opportunity.” 

Mr. Wilson arrives at MC  boasting an impressive resume when it comes to track and field. After starting track in his junior year of high school, that led to a collegiate track career at Monmouth, where Mr. Wilson started all four years and competed on a national level in multiple events. He was named an All-American fifteen times in four years across multiple track events and a two-time national champion long jumper. One of those championships came when he was just a freshman. In his senior year at Monmouth, Mr. Wilson put up the nation’s top long jump with an impressive 24′ 7″. 

Mr. Wilson was one of the best long jumpers in the nation during his time in college. (Dan Nolan – Monmouth College)

“I think I know what I’m talking about,” said Mr. Wilson. “I know jumps and sprints, and I have a friend that will hopefully be coming in soon to help out with plyometric stuff and stretching. Also some throwing because I don’t really know too much about throwing, but I got some people that do so I’m not worried.”

With his experience and coaching the track team will be well prepared in most events this year. In addition all football players and members of other sports teams not in season are encouraged to come join and work on their straight line speed. 

An interesting aspect of Mr. Wilson’s life not related to teaching or track is that he lived  in Florida a few years ago and got to know some professional dunkers who are popular online. 

“If anybody knows Jordan Kilganon, Isaiah Rivera, and all them,” said Mr. Wilson, “I know them and they are my friends. They taught me some stuff because I can dunk a ball, but not the way they can.”

So far Mr. Wilson’s favorite part about working at MC has been the staff and students. 

“The staff are all extremely nice and everyone is like a family,” said Mr. Wilson. “I will say that at my previous jobs it was kind of like that but more so that everyone was in different groups. Here everyone is together and I love that. The kids are so open to listening and wanting to learn, wanting to be here. It’s a different but great environment for sure.”

Mr. Wilson is excited for not just the rest of the year but also his future at MC. Perhaps he could coach the track team to win a state championship. 

“I’m not going anywhere,” said Mr. Wilson. “I’m going to be here for quite some time. Until it’s time for me to retire I believe.”

More to Discover
About the Contributor
James McCormac '25
James McCormac '25, Staff Writer
James McCormac is a junior at Mount Carmel. He lives in Bridgeport and attended Old Saint Mary's Grammar School. James is a member of the Varsity football team, the chess team, boxing, and The Merchant. Outside of school James enjoys doing volunteer work. His hobbies are reading and lifting.