For 33 years, Grant County Schools Teacher Jamie Tallman has taught students life-long, real-world lessons through both driver education and physical education.
“The single most dangerous activity that we all do daily is get behind the wheel or in a motor vehicle. The goal will always remain for each student to transfer their knowledge from driver education to their everyday personal lives when driving and beyond. Likewise, in an elementary physical education class, the skills practiced and applied will carry over to the students’ interactions with their families, friends and playmates.”
As the 2021 Grant County Teacher of the Year, he said his favorite aspect of his job is interacting with the students and his colleagues. Mr. Tallman holds teaching positions at both Union Educational Complex and Petersburg High School, and his teaching of students does not end at the classroom door.
“I believed I had the ability to connect with students and positively convey the knowledge they needed to be successful. We can empower these young people with better physical, psychological and social skills, and then perhaps they will assume more responsibility for their decision-making when behind the wheel or as a passenger with their peers.”
Not only does Mr. Tallman teach, but he also serves as a coach and athletic director. He said his favorite part of these multi-faceted roles are the interactions with students and colleagues. He said he believes the education system is successful when student-centered, individual learning is determined by the student, teacher, and parents to reach the best outcome for that student.
“It’s these types of activities that I believe in as a teacher – it’s so very important for our young people to have these experiences to help them in their growth when it comes to responsibility, social skills, and behaviors.”
As an educator since 1986, Mr. Tallman said there are many special stories that have had a positive impact on his career.
“I would say that anytime a former student makes an effort to reconnect and share what they have been doing in their lives is a never-ending inspiration to me. Hearing about their families and careers never gets old to me!”
When Mr. Tallman isn’t busy in the classroom, he enjoys spending time with “the lights of his life” – his wife, Vickie; their twin sons, Cole and Caleb; and their cat, Callie. A graduate of West Virginia University, Mr. Tallman enjoys golf, traveling, reading, music, playing drums and riding the trails on his Can-Am with family and friends.