Educator Spotlight: G2S’s Andy Hamilton.

May 1, 2022

Educator Spotlight: G2S’s Andy Hamilton.

By Kate Krieger-Watkins, Staff Writer.

Educator Spotlight is a presentation of is a presentation of Smith & Eddy Insurance, with offices in Scottville and Manistee, offering discounts for MEA members and school employees.

SCOTTVILLE – Gateway 2 Success Academy middle school social studies teacher, Andy Hamilton hasn’t been in the field very long, but also hasn’t really been exposed to the educational world “pre-COVID” either.

“My first year of full-time teaching job was the beginning of COVID,” he said. “I don’t really have many pre-COVID educational experiences to compare with.”

Hamilton, a 1998 graduate of Ludington High School, received his associate degree in photography at Lansing Community College and then went on to Grand Valley State University to receive a bachelor’s degree in journalism and then a master’s degree in communications.

“Before getting the job at G2S, I was a long-term sub at G2S and also subbed at O.J. and LHS,” Hamilton said. “Prior to being a teacher, I was a copy editor at the Ludington Daily News and did some bartending.”

Even though Hamilton worked outside of the field of education before being hired as a teacher, working with kids on the soccer field inspired him to enter the field. 

“I became interested in teaching when I started coaching soccer at Ludington High School and was a counselor at O.J. (DeJonge Middle School) eighth grade camp,” he said. “It was from those experiences I learned that I enjoyed connecting with and helping young people. I passed the Michigan Temporary Teacher Certificate and now I am working on courses to earn my teaching degree.”

Hamilton said there are many things about teaching that he enjoys, especially when he can assist his students see the world in a bigger picture.

“Middle school social studies is important because it helps young people begin to think critically about the world they’re a part of,” he said. “The best thing about teaching is witnessing students accomplish things they didn’t think they were capable of. It’s also rewarding that I’m able to help people every day. I specifically enjoy teaching middle schoolers; they’re not too cool for school yet, like high schoolers, and I have an adolescent sense of humor.”

When asked about something he would change in the educational world, Hamilton, like many other teachers said seeing more equality among students in regards to every school’s finances would be a great start.

“I’d like to see a serious, deliberate, and inclusive conversation around the idea of completely restructuring the educational system,” he said. “I would like to see it where there’s equity for all students at the expense of no other students, and always more than enough money for schools.”

There’s no doubt that teaching isn’t always an easy career to pursue or to master. In society today, teachers are faced with a lot more duties and hardships than ever before causing a lot of college seeking students to look elsewhere for a profession. Hamilton stated that he really enjoys his job, but he makes sure his students understand what really goes into being a teacher and that painting the real picture is important, so that students are aware of what it truly takes to be a successful educator.

“You shouldn’t be in it for the money and fame,” he said. “I can say that I’m grateful every day for the staff and students at G2S, and that we’re navigating this crazy world together.”

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