CENTERVILLE, Ohio (WDTN) - In a room filled with Pittsburgh Steelers memorabilia, Centerville High School teacher Jason Whited is busy getting ready for the upcoming year.
"After about 2 weeks of summer I'm usually ready," said Whited. "I'm a routine guy, I love being around kids. So I'm ready for the school year and hopefully students are ready and we can have a great year together."
But it is not just lesson plans on his mind.
Whited, a sophomore social studies teacher, is the 2019 Teacher of the Year for State Board of Education District 3 and will compete against ten other regional awardees to be named the 2019 Ohio Teacher of the Year this fall.
"It's very humbling," said Whited. "I think it's more a team award. It's an individual award, but I think it's a reflection of where I'm at - the Centerville community, the district, the administration, especially the students I work with. It's kind of easy when you work in a district like this."
And the district has shown their appreciation by honoring the man they describe as "motivated, dynamic and high energy."
"We're just lucky to have teachers like Jason Whited, it's a real honor to work with him every day," said Centerville High's east unit principal Jack Durnbaugh. "You know he's doing the absolute best for kids, always looking to grow professionally, he's just a real treat to be with."
Jason is a Dayton native, and comes from a family of teachers and said it was easy to find his calling.
But while the baseball coach would love to bring home the statewide trophy, Durnbaugh said he is already a winner in his colleague's eyes.
"We're thrilled to death for Mr. Whited here at the high school," said Durnbaugh. "Our staff here in the East unit as well as building-wide are fully behind him and rooting for him and cheering him on, and in our mind he's the Ohio teacher of the year."
A panel will select the 2019 Ohio Teacher of the Year this Fall. That educator will represent the Buckeye State in the national Teacher of the Year competition.
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