Teachers reveal significance behind tattoos

Batinovich tattooRecently, tattoos have come to hold a greater meaning than ever before, English teacher Matthew Taron explains.
“I get [tattoos] because I feel like they will remind me of values I have. My lighthouse tattoo has a Bible verse on it and although I am not particularly religious that Bible verse is significant to me because it is where Jesus said ‘you are the light of the world’. And I think that is really cool because it is part of my teaching philosophy to help people,” Taron said. “It is not about commas and semicolons; it is about seeing the light in ourselves and wanting to see the light in other people.”
Tattoos also represent pivotal memories as in the case of teacher and Coach Anthony Batinovich’s tattoo depicting a softball and the phrase “State champs 2014.”
“When we were sitting on the bus when it broke down on the way over, [to the 2014 softball State tournament], Jordyn Bartelson, who was a sophomore last year and a junior this year, goes ‘if we win the State tournament will you get one?’ I said ‘if you guys win the state tournament I will get one.’ Thinking that was probably a fairly safe bet, not that I was afraid to get one but it is just I thought it had to be something really special and then maybe I would do it. And I did because it was special,” Batinovich said.
While some tattoo designs are simpler that does not mean they do not have a meaningful significance.
“I got it because of my family and my love of Shakespeare,” English teacher Jamie Mooring said when asked about the significance behind her tattoo.
Mooring’s tattoo is a “Hamlet” quotation, “But never doubt I love,” followed by what looks like the script line but is actually the birth years of her husband and children.
Principal Eric Fredericks has a tattoo of two koi fish on his right arm. Fredericks said the image comes from a Japanese legend that features a group of koi fish swimming up a river.
“Upon reaching a waterfall the koi try to climb to the top, only to fail multiple times. After a while one koi makes it to the top and is turned into a winged dragon so it can fly around the world seeking wisdom and knowledge,” Fredericks said. “I believe I am still climbing the waterfall and the two koi on my arm represent my two children who will one day reach the top.”
Art teacher, Dorrie Coleman, recently got a tattoo to honor her five-year fight against Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a type of cancer.
“From the minute I was diagnosed [with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2002] it was a fight. And so my birth month is the Scorpio and I liked the scorpion because it is a really small animal that takes down things that are much larger than it. And to me that is what cancer is. Cancer is this big thing. The big ‘C’ word. Nobody ever wants to hear it. And my body is small and I took this down. It infected me and I killed it. And that is why I wanted to go with the scorpion,” Coleman said. “I thought I could take the design and incorporate the word ‘survivor’ in the segments and the purple part is the actual ribbon for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. This is for me to remind me of my success.”
Not only have tattoos come to hold a greater meaning but they have also become more acceptable.
“Tattoos have become dramatically more common than they have in the past, you know they used to be just proverbial of sailors and motorcycle gangs and that is obviously not the case anymore,” Taron said.