Unsung Hero: Elementary school teacher finds time to volunteer as an EMT

Valerie Brown

KentWired Video

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A former student became a teacher at Waterloo Elementary School and realizes the importance of tying fun into education.

Robert Hamilton began his degree in education at The University of Akron after graduating high school in 1972. When he was offered a management position at a local hardware store, he dropped out to work full-time. Almost a decade later, the store was sold, and Hamilton was transferred.

“My wife said, ‘You go back to school and get your degree.’ And I did, and I have loved every minute of it,” Hamilton said. “It was well worth it.”

Hamilton was inspired to teach by several educators he had while growing up in the school district where he now teaches. He refers to Larry Benson, his former eighth-grade science teacher and basketball coach, as the most influential teacher he ever had.

Benson encouraged Hamilton’s hands-on approach to teaching his students. He said he thinks kids learn and retain information better when they are able to connect what they are doing physically with the concepts being taught.

“That’s what I’m hoping for. Not just short-term memories for these kids but long-term, lasting, great memories from their teacher,” Hamilton said.

Hamilton also works as a volunteer EMT for the Randolph Fire Department. Every six weeks, he is on call each night for seven days. The anticipation of a possible emergency keeps him awake, but he doesn’t mind the lost sleep.

“I’m doing something I enjoy doing while I am on this earth, “ Hamilton said. “There (have) been times I’ve been up all night, and I still came back to school the next day to teach. The kids keep you very active.”