Class of their own

SANDUSKY Several community leaders went back to school Wednesday. Students at Sandusk
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

SANDUSKY

Several community leaders went back to school Wednesday.

Students at Sandusky City Schools saw around 25 new faces leading their classes.

Members of the community acted as guest teachers in the district as part of the "Back to School" program, sponsored by the district and Sandusky Education Association.

"It's been eye-opening," said Allison Will, wife of City Manager Mike Will. "What the teachers do every day is a great thing. I think people take it for granted."

Will helped teach Susan Sackett's English class. The class played its own version of ESPN's "Around the Horn," using material from a book the class was reading.

"I think it's nice for the students to see other faces in here, especially if they're from the community," Sackett said.

Eighth grade and high school students in Bernie Seiler's Algebra I and Algebra II classes were taught Kay Strong, an economics professor at BGSU Firelands.

"She gave my students a different look at mathematics," Seiler said.

The students also picked Strong's brain about math at the college level.

"I gave them a chance to ask questions that were college relevant and she told them her expectations of college students," Seiler said.

He said having guest teachers also gives community members a chance to learn more about the school district.

"It gives them a different feel for what a teacher does, where a teacher comes from," he said. "It gives a perspective of what we're trying to do."

High School Principal Dan Poggiali agrees the program benefits everyone involved.

"I think from the kids' standpoint, they can talk to people involved in different fields," Poggiali said.

He said it also helps preconceived notions people have about the district.

Western-Southern Financial Group also had a representative in the district. Sales Manager Bobby Green taught third grade at Hancock Elementary.

He said the students weren't the only ones learning Wednesday.

"I learned how advanced their teaching styles are," Green said. "I see an amazing difference at how smart kindergarteners are now than when I was in school."

John Lippus, Downtown Development Manager, taught first graders at Venice Heights Elementary and said he was surprised at how advanced the students were.

"It was very enlightening," Lippus said. "It was so different from what I remember first grade being."

Sandusky Register Managing Editor Matt Westerhold helped English students in James Sturdivant's classes shape their papers, which are due in less than two weeks.

Their assignment: Write a research paper about a controversial issue.

"I thought it was pretty helpful for my project," said Chris Miller, 15. "It'll give me a lot of things for my final draft."

Westerhold encouraged students to look at both sides of a controversy and helped them expand their ideas for sources.

He joked with the student working on international adoption.

"Did you talk to Angelina Jolie for your paper?" he asked. "You might want to call her."