Award-winning Springfield teacher brings real-world examples to class

Justin Hambrick, one of the teachers of the year. Bill Lackey/Staff

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Justin Hambrick, one of the teachers of the year. Bill Lackey/Staff

Teaching a government class isn’t so much about Republican and Democrat perspectives as it is about teaching students to use the legislature as a vehicle to make their society better, Springfield High School teacher Justin “Scott” Hambrick said.

“The way I try to teach government is by looking at issues and problems and the varied ways of solving them,” Hambrick said. “Trying to help students think not a way but of different ways in which how they can have an impact on their community.”

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Hambrick is one of four recipients of the 2016-2017 Excellence In Teaching Award, which is sponsored by the Springfield News-Sun, Springfield Rotary Club, Ohio Edison, Springfield Foundation and Chamber of Greater Springfield.

The teachers will receive their recognition on March 20. The award is presented to Clark County teachers nominated by their colleagues and students.

Hambrick has been teaching at the Springfield City School District for seven years and was a teacher in the Washington D.C. area for 10 years before that.

“My wife is from Ohio so we were moving back here to be closer to family,” he said. “I found a position here at Springfield and it’s been great since.”

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Hambrick’s classroom has many real-life discussions. When interviewed by the Springfield News-Sun late last month, he was preparing to teach a section on what local government has done to combat the heroin epidemic in the city and what can the government lawfully do to further fight it.

Springfield High School STEAM Principal Teresa Dillon nominated him.

“I decided to nominate him because he has a model classroom,” she said. “He tries so many different learning strategies with the kids. He does a projects every quarter. Every time I go in there the kids are engaged. He has a great classroom.”

Hambrick decided to become a teacher because of his high school experience and his teachers that inspired him.

“In high school I loved engineering and I took a lot of engineering courses and I was torn,” he said of becoming a teacher. “But I had some great high school teachers and it turned me toward that as a profession.”

He said he tries to set the same example and inspire his students like he was inspired.

“I still love it,” he said.

About this series

The Springfield News-Sun will profile four Clark County teachers who have been recognized with the Excellence in Teaching Awards for the 2016-2017 school year, starting today and continuing through Wednesday.

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