Once a Big Red, always a Big Red…or at least that’s what Parkersburg High School teacher Sam Vincent always thought. When Mr. Vincent began teaching history in 2012 at the same high school from which he graduated, he felt lucky to continue the tradition.
“I love teaching at PHS. That was always my goal in college, and I was lucky enough to get hired here right after my college graduation. It’s been cool to be in charge of organizations I was a part of while in school, coaching with people I was coached by and trying to add to the legacy of Parkersburg High.”
Mr. Vincent always knew he wanted a career that impacted individuals on a daily basis, and the teaching profession seemed like the perfect fit. He said one of his favorite aspects of being in the education profession are the people.
“Seeing the growth and positivity of students throughout a school year and their time at Parkersburg High School is really special,” Vincent said. “I also think what makes the education system in West Virginia so great are the teachers who are selfless and giving their best effort to help students from various backgrounds and situations.”
Giving his best effort comes easily to Mr. Vincent. In fact, it was his idea to begin offering a course titled, “Sports in American Culture,” which gave high school students the chance to learn about the history and cultural impacts of athletics, primarily in the U.S.
“With the class, we had planned on going on a few field trips (pro football Hall of Fame, a tour of WVU’s facilities, etc.) but with COVID, field trips weren’t allowed. With the expansion of virtual meeting during quarantine, I thought it would be pretty cool and a lot more viable than interviews. So, I used social media and reached out to anyone and everyone in sports hoping to hear back, but knowing I wouldn’t hear back from most,” Vincent said. “We ended up having various guest speakers through this new course, but a highlight would be Mike Eruzione, captain of the 1980 U.S. ‘Miracle on Ice’ hockey team. He shared stories, advice and allowed students to ask him questions.”
In addition to teaching this sports class and 11th grade history, Mr. Vincent leads the Foundations of Education course for students who might want to become a teacher sometime. He also serves as a coach to the cross-country team and the faculty advisor to the high school’s T Club. It’s this commitment to being fully engaged with his school community that makes Mr. Vincent one of Parkersburg High School’s most popular teachers.
In his free time, you can find Mr. Vincent spending time with his family, going to WVU football and basketball games, and hanging out with friends at the North End Tavern.