A love for learning and making mistakes — Ridgeline HS Teacher of the Year Greg Hamilton
Running into a sandbar on his father’s boat taught young Greg Hamilton one of his favorite life lessons. With a broken propeller in hand, Hamilton thought his dad would be furious. Instead, his father was kind and turned the accident into a teaching moment about making mistakes.
Though he still had to fix the boat, Hamilton kept the propeller as a reminder that a mistake is just a step in learning. As Ridgeline High School’s Teacher of Year, Hamilton knows how important it is for his students to feel comfortable trying new things and strives to help them learn the same lesson about making mistakes.
Hamilton had a desire to teach from a young age. At just five years old, pretending to read to his younger siblings and acting as their teacher, he realized he had found his life’s passion. Hamilton has dreamed of being an educator ever since this childhood game. Over the last two decades, he has turned that dream into a reality.
Hamilton has been teaching CCSD students for 25 years. He currently teaches Spanish. After serving a religious mission in Bolivia, he fell in love with the Spanish language and decided to pursue it as his teaching career. His goal with his classes is to make them as enjoyable as possible for students and he loves seeing them apply what they are learning.
“I try to make it as fun and as educational as possible. Hopefully, they learn to love learning in my classes because it will help them in other aspects of life,” Hamilton said. “Spanish is really fun because it gives students a chance to actually use what they are learning in school.”
Hamilton’s students will often come to him with stories of how being able to speak even a little bit of Spanish has helped them in their everyday life. Because of Hamilton and their efforts in his classes, students are able to communicate with the many Spanish-speaking members of the Cache Valley community.
According to Ridgeline Principal Brittany Foster, students have a deep respect for Hamilton and his teaching abilities. She explained, “Greg has an engaging classroom with an innovative teaching style. He devotes his time to ensuring that his students receive well-planned lessons, are graded fairly based on their learning and have many options to relearn when they don’t understand.”
Hamilton was honored as Ridgeline High School's Teacher of the Year at the January 30th board meeting.