The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

Kylie Phillips
Teacher Luke Divine. Photo courtesy of Kylie Phillips.

Divinely-Juggling Teaching and Sports

When he’s not teaching history, FCHS teacher Luke Divine juggles a busy afterschool life as the coach for both the ACE team and the Debate team.

Divine grew up in Reading, Pennsylvania. He worked in retail as a security guard where he admits he “spent more time chatting with juveniles than catching them.”

Teaching was always at the back of his mind as a career choice, but Divine specifically went into the field because he enjoys working with kids. He said he has always loved history, but admits he hated high school history. “Everything was all about the what’s and when’s, and never about the why’s,” he said.

Divine has been teaching for 23 years. He also teaches Blue Ridge Virtual Governor’s School (BRVGS) as a World History I and II teacher. He said his main goal through BRVGS is to push the kids a step further and help them reach their highest potential.

His favorite part of the job is coaching the Debate team because he loves watching his students grow as individuals through speaking and opening their minds. Divine has been part of Debate for five years. “The spot opened up and I found it interesting, so I took it. I’ve never realized how much I would enjoy it,” he said.

“Debate is a formal competition of your ability to use rhetoric, logic, arguments, and research to support those arguments,” he explained. There are four categories in high school debate, and Divine coaches all of them. These include the following: Student Congress, which is about legislation where you argue either for or against a particular bill; Policy, which is debating where the governments money should be put; Public Forum, where you’re debating two side of a issue and whether anything could be done or not to fix that issue; and Lincoln Douglas which focuses on why something should or should not be done.

Divine said that last year the Debate team did very well, but they lost their Public Forum teams due to other commitments. “This year we just need some points out of Lincoln and Douglas and Public Forum; then we will be golden,” he added.

He notes that the key to growing such a successful team is “giving them space and allowing them to mess up.” While he enjoys being part of such a successful team, Divine admits all he cares about is watching the team grow together and make new friends. The winning, he says, is just “whipped cream and a cherry.”

In addition to coaching the Debate team, Divine is also the long-time coach for the FCHS ACE team. “ACE is essentially an academic team about knowledge,” he said. However, he says people don’t realize the key is knowing when to hit the buzzer. “ACE is similar to Jeopardy; you just aren’t answering in the form of questions,” he said. ACE is very difficult because the questions can be on anything, such as about music, movies, science, or math, so you have to be prepared for anything to be thrown at you.

One thing that might surprise students is that Divine was just recently married. He said he and his wife “just clicked.” He ha three kids from his first marriage and two grandchildren, while his wife, Missy, has two kids of her own and one grandchild. Rounding out his household is two dogs, a black Lab mix, and a Black-mouthed Cur.

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