Keith Pohlman, a history teacher at Springboro High School, will be leaving for active duty in October. He reenlisted in the Army Reserves last year.

Springboro teacher trades classroom for active duty again

Keith Pohlman, a history teacher at Springboro High School and staff sergeant and network security specialist in the U.S. Army Reserve, has previously deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq.

This time, he will be stationed at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas to do a different kind of teaching than he does in Springboro. He will be following military curricula in Texas rather than building lesson plans himself.

“You can make the same jokes,” he said.

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Pohlman, 31, helped select and co-teach with his replacement during his absence, David Herring, a former substitute for Kings Local Schools.

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Pohlman, who grew up in Versailles, said he joined the reserves and reenlisted last year to be able to take advantage of the benefits. Those include the GI Bill, which helped him pay for college, a loan that helped pay for the family home and health care.

He said he was also attracted to the challenge and has met “great people” while traveling to foreign lands, including Germany and Kuwait. He has planned to stay in the reserves for seven more years to hit the 20-year mark.

In 2007, Pohlman was deployed for one year to Camp Bucca, Iraq, with the 391st Military Police Battalion, based in Columbus. The unit was overseeing about 30,000 detainees.

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In 2010, he was deployed for another year at Kandahar Airfield in Kandahar City, Afghanistan, with the 643rd Regional Support Group, also based in Columbus. There, Pohlman worked with coalition forces.

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“Being a husband and a father and in the military takes a very strong spouse,” he said. “If it wasn’t for my wife, I would not have been seen as successful as I am.”

Pohlman was the high school’s EPIC teacher in 2016. EPIC is the district’s awards program and stands for Engage, Prepare, Inspire, Challenge.

In early October, he will be “mobilized” at the Continental United States (CONUS) Replacement Center (CRC) at Fort Bliss, for one year. He is expected to return to Springboro High School in October 2019.

What will he miss most?

Being with students, including graduating seniors, and “not being able to see them graduate,” he said.

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