Aaron Davis, a social studies intervention specialist at Indian Valley Local Schools, took first-place honors in the Patton College of Education’s “Why I Teach!” video contest.

Aaron Davis, a social studies intervention specialist at Indian Valley Local Schools, took first-place honors in the Patton College of Education’s “Why I Teach!” video contest.

Holly Pettet, a teacher at Wellston High School, placed second in the Patton College of Education’s “Why I Teach!” video contest.

Holly Pettet, a teacher at Wellston High School, placed second in the Patton College of Education’s “Why I Teach!” video contest.

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Patton College announces ‘Why I Teach!’ video contest winners


Ohio University’s Patton College of Education has announced the winners of the “Why I Teach!” video contest. A viewing of the winning videos will take place on Public Education Recognition Day, March 9, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Baker University Center Theatre. All public educators and future educators will be recognized. Everyone is invited. 

This year’s judges were Beth Roell from Morrison Gordon Elementary, Brian Dearing from Athens High School, Roger Nott from Trimble Elementary and Middle School, and Julia Simmerer from the Ohio Department of Education. There were a total of 16 entries, and the judges were impressed and inspired by the entries.

The winners (with links to their videos) are:

  • First place: Aaron Davis, social studies intervention specialist, Indian Valley Local Schools, Gnadenhutten, Ohio. https://youtu.be/crWOFsATi_U 

Judges’ notes: Knowing Aaron’s personal history make his message clear and impactful. The video had high production value. We enjoyed the positive perspective he presented throughout the video. We appreciated his reference to education as a human right and also his analogy to education as a puzzle.

Judges’ notes: Holly used reality as the focus for her presentation. Sometimes a harsh reality but one that many teachers encounter and receive little training. We appreciated her realistic view and focus on the student/teacher relationship and a teacher’s role as a cheerleader and motivator.

  • Third place: Jeri Herron, high school intervention specialist at Buckeye Career Center, New Philadelphia, Ohio. https://youtu.be/c503e5MdI7g

Judges' notes: Jeri demonstrated great creativity in her songwriting and the student focus of her video. She served as a voice for students often overlooked as she advocated for their interests.

Judges' notes: After 30 years, we all hope to have Tina’s compassion for her craft. Her message was inspirational, and we appreciate the efforts she has invested during her career fighting the good fight.

Join the Patton College of Education for Public Education Recognition Day on Wednesday, March 9, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Baker University Center Theatre. This is a day to recognize these winners and the importance of public education and its educators. After a meet-and-greet reception, Dean Renée A. Middleton will speak. Following, we will view the winning videos from the “Why I Teach!” video contest. The winners will have an opportunity to introduce their video and explain their inspiration behind it.

About the winners
 
Aaron Davis has been encouraging and educating students as a social studies intervention specialist at his alma mater, Indian Valley High School in Gnadenhutten, Ohio, for the past four years. He earned a bachelor's degree in integrated social studies from Kent State University in 2004 and a master's degree in special education from Malone University in 2012. Away from school, Davis is devoted to playing with his two young sons and enjoying time with his wife as well as learning about and experimenting with new technology and electronics. Davis’ video is dedicated to all of his family who support him in everything he does; it is also dedicated to his colleagues who drive him to bring his best teaching efforts every single day. 

Holly Pettet is a graduate of Ohio University. She has a bachelor's degree in education adolescent to young adult mathematics. She also has a minor in mathematics from the University of Rio Grande. Pettet is in her second year teaching. She currently teaches geometry and STEM and serves as the sophomore grade level chair at Wellston High School. Pettet has started a STEM program at Wellston High School and hopes to continue to grow the program in the future. Pettet is married to husband James Pettet and they have two beautiful children, Logan and Eliana. Her video is a glimpse into the lives of her students. Each statement in the video has been told to her in just the short two years she has been an educator. Her students come from one of the poorest areas of Ohio. The video was a project produced by her STEM classes as they studied stop motion animation.

Jeri Herron began her teaching career at Claymont High School in 2014, before being offered a position at Buckeye Career Center in New Philadelphia, Ohio, just a year later. At BCC, Herron is responsible for two career tech programs for students with special needs: Custodial Services and TRACE-U. Both programs focus on teaching students life and employability skills to help transition students from school to work. In 2014, Herron earned her bachelor's degree as an intervention specialist, with a concentration in moderate to intensive disabilities, from Kent State University. It was during her senior year at Kent State that Herron wrote "Anybody Out There" as a teaching philosophy project. Since then, it has been a constant reminder for her to be a voice that advocates and campaigns for her students. Away from school, Herron enjoys writing and playing music with her fiancé, Shane, who deserves a special thank you for coming to perform the song and editing the videos together. Herron also wants to thank her students, colleagues and administration for being a part of the video and inspiring her to be better both inside and outside of the classroom. 

Tina Hall has been working as a public school educator for nearly 30 years. She earned her B.S.Ed. from Ohio University in 1986 and her master’s in curriculum and instruction from Marygrove College in 1999. Hall has taught in California as well as in Ohio. She currently teaches English at Athens High School where she has taught for the past 10 years. Prior to this, Hall taught at the Trimble Local School District for 17 years, as well as teaching in Southern California for three years. When Hall isn’t in the classroom, she enjoys mountain biking, trail running and martial arts. Hall has earned her brown belt in Shotokan and hopes to find the time to test for her black belt someday. Hall’s video is dedicated to her supportive husband and to her students who are a constant source of inspiration.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the contest. Congratulations to the winners!