Mikey Dancziger won't be pushing his teacher's buttons anytime soon.
It'll be nothing but his best behavior after he watched his language arts instructor at Deer Valley Middle School block and jam and duke it out with other all-female roller derby skaters at a recent bout at Castle Sports Club, on 19th Avenue north of Peoria Avenue in Phoenix.
"She was awesome," the 13-year-old said, referring to teacher Janet Clarke, who goes by the rink name of "Helen Wheels" when she skates for the Bruisers.
"In the classroom, she's a really cool teacher and she really never gets mad," Mikey said. "But after watching her (skate), I'm hoping she doesn't."
Not only is roller derby back on the scene with a vengeance, so is Clarke, who would just as soon bop her opponents as make a legal block.
Andrew Cleland, 13, saw Clarke, too, just to see whether she was "just talk or actually good."
He has decided upon the latter.
The comeback of the once obscure sport - there are five female roller derby teams in the Valley - has allowed Clarke to fulfill a lifelong dream.
Raised on skates, Clarke can't remember when she first started rolling around a rink.
"But I have pictures of me on skates when I was 18 months old," she said.
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