Each Friday we are introducing one of our outstanding Osprey faculty/staff members. This week we are pleased to introduce Mr. Smith, an 8th grade social studies teacher.
Who is your role model, and why?
Answer: My role models are my Parents and Grand Parents. My parents are the greatest people in the world, they were tough but fair. They expected my brother and I to always do our best and challenged us to do better each and every day. My grandparents are also roles models because they grew up and lived in one of the toughest times of American History the great Depression, dealt with tragic losses of parents, poverty, WW2 and they created such a strong family bond filled with love and caring that I strive every day to treat people just like that. Both my Parents and Grand Parents are who I try most to live my life like each and every day so I can hopefully influence others the same way they have influenced me.
Who was your favorite teacher?
Answer: I have several favorite teachers and these teachers have helped to make me into the teacher that I am today. My 1st grade Teacher Mrs. Lutsch taught me to dream big and learn from the world. In 5th Grade I had one of the most amazing teachers Mr. Craig, he was kind, gentle, strict and fair. Mrs. Kaufmann in 6th grade showed me to use my creativity in new ways and made me want to travel the world to see Ancient Rome. 7th Grade Mr. George my English teacher made learning fun and exciting, he held us all to a very high standard but you could tell that he really loved teaching, he also inspired me to take students on trips like he did with all of us so many years ago. In High School is where I encountered two of the teachers that inspired me to challenge myself 1st was Mrs. Jeckavich who challenged me to have the courage to stand out from the crowd and join the Honor Chorus. Finally Ms. Yereb my art teacher challenged my way of thinking, she gave us difficult challenges and tried to make us see that there are many ways to solve a problem and every answer should be explored. Ms. Yereb forced me to see things in a new way and if you answered a question by saying “That can’t be done” her response was always “Why don’t we search for a way that it can be done.” All of these teachers still inspire me every day to hopefully make an impact on my students the same way all of them has impacted me.
What are three things still left on your bucket list?
- To visit all 50 states
- To visit Australia
- To Visit Japan
Tell us about your family.
Answer: I am very family oriented and love spending as much time with them as I can. One of my favorite memories is attending the annual Smith family reunion and having a great big cook out (usually a pig roast) with all of my relatives from Ohio and Pennsylvania. Holidays were also always huge family gatherings and these are the memories that make me the happiest.
Do you have any pets?
Answer: I have 2 dogs Oliver and Mooshu. They have their own Facebook page where they tackle issues and encourage people to adopt pets from shelters.
If you could meet any historical figure, who would you choose and why?
Answer: I would want to meet Abraham Lincoln and Theordore Roosevelt. I consider both of these leaders to be people I could ask a lot of questions and learn a great deal of knowledge from about our great country. There are a lot of historical figures I would like to travel back in time to meet and I could probably fill a book with names and reasons.
Before working at Oak Hammock, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
Answer: During my senior year in high school and while I was in college I worked at Sea World of Ohio in the Food Service Department. I worked for 5 seasons a Sea World in many different locations throughout the park. One of my favorite places I worked was the employee diner where I met all of the entertainers, trainers and performers from the shows in the park.
What were you like in school?
Answer: While I was in school I was in advanced classes, on honor roll and was in the top 10% of my high school graduating class. I was friendly to everyone and did not get into trouble. I was active in many student groups in high school and also in college.
Where is your hometown?
Answer: My hometown is located in Northeast Ohio, a picturesque little city called Salem. I attended the Salem Public Schools and graduated from Salem Senior High School and our mascot was “The Quakers.”
Where is the best place you’ve traveled to and why?
Answer: I have traveled a lot and my favorite place to visit is Paris and Ireland. Paris is just someplace that is hard to describe in words how amazing it is and when I am there I feel like I am at home. Ireland is very special to me as many of my ancestors came to the United States from Ireland and the people in that country are so friendly. It is wonderful to go out and visit places and early on in my teaching career I took several groups of Oak Hammock Students on EF Tour trips to places in Europe.
Check back next week when we introduce you to another Outstanding Osprey Educator!