Teaching isn’t just something that happens in the classroom; teachers continue to change lives outside the classroom.
Like many teachers, John Heath is not just a teacher during school hours at Owego Middle School. The seventh grade teacher is head of the Blue Horizons science club, and coaches track and cross country. Outside of his school, he is leading a new running program for young people at the Boys & Girls Club of Western Broome County.
His students say he is a mentor who is always ready to listen or help. Here is what his students say about him, students who have known him for years:
“He became part of our life,” said 15 year old Laura Jackson, an Owego sophomore. “He’s like a second dad. If you ever have a problem, you can always go to him.”
“Whenever I need a ride or anything, he’s there,” said 10th grader Vince Duvall.
According to Ronnie Casella, associate dean of SUNY Cortland’s School of Education, that devotion to extracurricular and community activities is a common fact of most teachers’ lives.