Lynden Spotlight: Loving life with Layne Hutchins

Lynden Spotlight: Loving life with Layne Hutchins
Posted on 04/11/2017
Layne Hutchins loves life. Simply put, that mantra drives all he does, from teaching about it in biology and anatomy & physiology to coaching two sports at Lynden High School to spending time with his family. He just loves it.

Hutchins came to LHS in 2000 after 11 years teaching in other parts of the state. A science teacher for the past 17 years, he has handled everything from chemistry to physics to biology. But his favorite teaching area relates to biology.

“I think there is a natural connection with kids because they want to know how life works,” he says. So whether learning how genetics work, what genetic technology really is or a discussion about bio-ethics, Hutchins embraces it all. “I love to talk about difficult things with kids, things that don’t have nice easy answers. I really believe kids need to wrestle with that a little bit now before they get out there in the real world and are needing to make decisions.”

And while Layne enjoys the content and the science, he knows the real reason he gets so involved at Lynden centers around the students. “Sometimes I think about it and think I’m not much of a scientist,” he says. “But I’m a teacher and I love interacting with kids. I love that part of it and to see their expressions when they get something that was hard to get. That is what it is about.”

That’s also where coaching comes into play. Hutchins has served as the track coach since joining Lynden and now has two years as the cross country coach under his belt too. “Showing kids you care about them more than a number in the classroom, but as a person, that is why I coach,” he says. “Building relationships is really difficult in the classroom itself.”

Hutchins says getting involved in students’ lives outside the classroom can transfer to more student involvement in the classroom. “I have loved the deeper relationships I can make with students because of that, getting to know the whole person,” he says. “There is more to the person than just who is sitting there for a specific amount of time trying to learn your subject area. The opportunity to dig deeper is really rewarding.”

When Hutchins isn’t busy in the classroom or coaching, he devotes as much time to his family as he can. The family of five—the oldest, Tate, is now in high school, which is one of the reasons Layne decided to coach cross country—tries to get outside and enjoy the area as much as possible and a highlight was a six-week cross-country road trip the family made a couple of summers ago.

“Some people will look at it and can’t imagine being in a car with their family that long, but we didn’t have any issues,” he says. “We were on this great adventure and it was awesome to see all the things we read about and see on television in person. Those kinds of things are memories that will last forever.”