Alumni beyond Edgehill: Mikeie Reiland '11

In this feature, we check in with PDS/USN alumni in all walks of life, all over the world for a look at all that life beyond Edgehill can entail.
By Sierra Smith, Communications Specialist

A distinguished narrative nonfiction writer, the Class of 2011's Mikeie Reiland has been published in Oxford American, The Bitter Southerner, SB Nation, and more including this recent feature on Nashville Soccer Club's Hany Mukhtar.

When he's not writing about athletes, or telling other important cultural stories, he's can often be found working with student-athletes as the High School boys Ultimate Frisbee coach.

As his coaching season ramps up, Reiland took a moment to share with us a few fond USN memories and how his time as a student on Edgehill helped prepare him for his current roles. 

Q: Please share a favorite memory from your time at 2000 Edgehill. 
A: Winning State with the frisbee team junior year (2010) and senior year (2011).

Q: How did your USN education prepare you for the work you're doing today?
A: All my classes and teachers were great. [Former HS Spanish Teacher Lourdes Cuellar], my advisor, really pushed me in AP Spanish, which I still use to interview people for stories.

Most of all, though, from Profe Cuellar and from Mike Lutz and [MS Science Teacher] Tobey Balzer '02, the frisbee coaches, I learned how to work and improve at the things I care about. And to push through these buffer layers of irony and emotional distance and imposter syndrome that can sometimes keep kids from really going after what they want. I'm doing that with writing right now. 

Q: What's one piece of advice you have for USN students?
A: This is borrowed from my friend Jesse Shofner '11, "Be willing to risk heartbreak." If you like really like something — writing, frisbee, pottery, music, theater, coding, etc. — I think it's healthy to want it to work out so bad that you'll be pretty upset if it doesn't.

As a 16-year-old, it's easy to be hyper-self-aware and not want to put yourself out there in case you mess up. But what's worse is to not try at all! I think I'm mixing Jesse and Sam Obisanya from Ted Lasso at this point. 
Q: Is there anything else you'd like to share? 
A: [Lower School Spanish Teacher] Maestra Vázquez is the greatest. Also, I play on a frisbee team, Nashville 'Shine, with USN alumni like Jack Spiva '13, Eli Motycka '13, Margie Quinn '09, Jesse Shofner '11, Sam Fisher '16, Nicky Farren '16, and Sydney Neal '21.

If you or someone you know is doing great work beyond Edgehill, please complete the form here to be considered for future installments of this series.

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USN Mission: 
University School of Nashville models the best educational practices. In an environment that represents the cultural and ethnic composition of Metropolitan Nashville, USN fosters each student’s intellectual, artistic, and athletic potential, valuing and inspiring integrity, creative expression, a love of learning, and the pursuit of excellence.