Special needs teacher, rugby coach says parents inspired him to reach out to others

OAK CREEK -- John Klein teaches youngsters with special needs at Oak Creek High School. Klein loves young people, and wants to make a difference in their lives. The same can be said of Klein's other job: working as head coach of the Divine Savior Holy Angels girls rugby team.

The DSHA "Dashers" recently won a state championship -- the 10th in a row under Coach Klein. Klein has also led the program to six national crowns!

Klein's family world includes his wife, Katie and their children, five-year-old Clara Rose and two-year-old Luke John. 

Klein says his parents, father Rudy and mother Gerry motivated him to want to reach out to others. Klein grew up in a home where both his parents and his only sibling, Marie were intellectually challenged with cognitive disabilities.

More than anyone, Klein says his parents sent him on a path toward serving young people. Klein says though his parents could not read, there was no lack of love in the Klein household.

Klein says he feels his parents are a gift from God, and wishes others could have had the same experience and understanding. 

Klein says under the circumstances, what his parents were able to do in raising him and his sister could be called heroic or even miraculous. He says their lives had a profound impact on the way he tries to live his.

Rudy Klein is now 84, and Gerry is 69. However, they are still setting lasting examples for their children.

John Klein was honored on September 24th by Life Navigators -- an organization that aims to improve the lives of individuals with developmental and related disabilities. Klein's mom, dad and sister sat proudly in the audience during the ceremony.