Teachers keep busy over summer



July 2, 2012 - 12:00 AM


Students are not the only ones reaping the benefits of summer break. Teachers also find themselves with more time to relax and take vacations while other teachers use the summer to change up their curriculum and work on much needed projects.

Three teachers from each school district in Allen County were interviewed to see what their summer consists of and their plans until school resumes in August. 

Iola USD 257 and Marmaton Valley USD 256 offer summer school. Travis Hermstein, Iola High’s history teacher, is among staff working with students who need to catch up over the summer. 

Though summer means school is out, Hermstein says “teachers are in the classroom more than you think.” 

Hermstein finished summer school last week, and even though the idea of summer school doesn’t sound desirable, “the students enjoy it” because it still gives them opportunities to see their friends and gives them something to do, Hermstein said. 

Hermstein also is going back to school to get his master’s degree in administration, so he can eventually become an administrator. 

Hermstein grew up in Iola and attended the high school where he now teaches. “I still call my old teachers by ‘Mr.’ and ‘Mrs.,’” he said. “It’s been such a reward to come here and give back to the school. I hope I will finish my career here at USD 257.” 

Hermstein is planning a summer trip to Yellowstone National Park, a place he has yet to visit. 

Bill Peeper, Iola High’s basketball coach and history teacher, is spending his summer history hunting and holding a strength training camp. 

At the camp, Peeper says he sees about 35 students. He encourages the kids to bring friends. 

“We try to help them with whatever they want to get better at,” Peeper said. “We want to give them a strong foundation to go forward with, and the kids seem to be responding well.”  

Peeper will go on a week-long workshop in Hartford, Conn., later this summer. 

The workshop will be at the Mark Twain home. A book study on “Huckleberry Finn” is planned.

Peeper also will take a genealogy hunting family trip with his daughter and mother. They will travel to Missouri and Iowa to see what they can locate. 

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