LSHS Teacher of the Month:
Mr. Jeffrey Marsh

Marsh May 2017 TOM

English teacher Jeffrey Marsh is the High School's final Teacher of the Month of the 2016-2017 school year. He has been a member of the LSHS faculty since 1997 and received nominations from colleagues and students. Here's more about Mr. Marsh, in his words:

Life outside of school.

I live in West Lampeter with my wife, Danielle, and daughter, Isla, who will be starting kindergarten this Fall. I grew up in Wheeling, WV, attended Grove City College in Grove City, PA, and was hired right out of college to teach English at L-S in 1997. Outside of school, I enjoy acting and directing in the community theater, woodworking, and watching NASCAR races.

How did you get into teaching?

Like a lot of kids in high school, I also didn’t know exactly what I wanted to be going into college. I tossed around ideas like being a lawyer, a doctor, a farmer. I knew I liked Math and was very good at it. I was not very good at English. So, I entered college as a Math Education / Pre-Law major. Then I got hooked on theater and somehow found myself leaning towards teaching literature and drama. An acceptance letter to the University of Memphis for a Masters in Directing waiting in the wings, I found myself drawn more to teaching young people than to directing adults. It was meek production of The Diary of Anne Frank at a tiny, underfunded Christian school that I directed my senior year that opened my eyes to my passion to teaching kids.

What do you teach?

Within three years of teaching at L-S, I started a Drama course. It ran for a few years but eventually died off. They were some of my favorite classes. And although I like to teach literature, I love to teach grammar. Maybe that is the Math nerd in me. I currently teach Advanced Grammar & Rhetoric (although if you look for the course on the registration sheet, it will have a completely other name. Far more cumbersome.) It has become my new favorite class to teach. We just finished our weeklong Grammar Olympics and by the end of the school year will crown another class of Grammar Gods and Goddesses to set off into the world to smite all poor uses of grammar.

What is the best part of teaching?

The best – and most challenging part of teaching is the constant need to make the material fresh for the students. As many times as I have read this story, assigned this writing, introduced this concept, initiated this debate, it is the first time they have heard it. And there is nothing more fulfilling than to share with someone else something you are so passionate about, to see your passion excite others. To make it fresh and new each and every time you present it, year after year, is a challenge I would tell my actors – that you always have a new audience, and they deserve it to be as good as it ever was. Each year. Each day. Each class period.

What makes L-S special?

What I love most about L-S is its faculty. I learned so much about being a teacher and an adult from those who were here before I walked into the building in 1997. I miss many of those teachers greatly. But now I find myself on the other side of the 35 year stretch and hope I can give back to others. Maybe some wisdom from experience – and mistakes. Maybe just some encouragement.

Do you have any advice for students?

To the kids walking the halls today, I share this: Don’t wish it away. The brevity of time – even as somewhat trivial these years may seem – begs us to appreciate what we have before us. Attend every day. Learn as much as you can. Look others in the eye and tell them “thank you.”

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