Class Act Winner - Greg English

September 14, 2005
Reported by Pam Dixon

This month's KPLC Class Act Award goes to Greg English, an 8th grade Louisiana history teacher at Oak Park Middle School.

After running his own T-shirt business for 20 years, English switched to teaching and has never looked back, except when he's teaching history. That switch was 18 years ago.

Greg English's class room looks more like a museum. This Oak Park Middle School teacher is a collector of Louisiana products and memorabilia, fitting for an 8th grade Louisiana history teacher. English says, "A lot of it I do pull off the shelves. The kids have already seen me pulling things off and saying this is what we're talking about."

English loves history and even lives it occasionally. English says, "Reactors are people who play the parts of soldiers who were at that fort during that time period. Now I do the same kind of stuff." He has traveled to all 64 parishes in Louisiana. English says, "What I love about teaching is the storytelling. I like doing the folklore type of things. I've gone to several institutes on folklore and so forth, and it's the stories. History is not about a bunch of dates and facts and so forth. It's actually the stories behind what's going on."

English has discovered so much history on his own, he rarely teaches from the textbook. 8th grader Darien Bartie says, "He's very funny. He's hilarious, and he has a good way of teaching to where you understand. There's never a dull moment." 8th grader Elisa Bowman says, "He makes it fun and it's never boring. That's why it's interesting to me." English says, "They need to see it and that's kind of the way I am. We do a lot of research. I'm an I-Tech teacher, which means I have lots of computers that we have access to. So it really is more hands on type teaching opposed to open the book, read the chapter, answer the question, the way I grew up." This Class Act has found his own way to share his love of history with Louisiana's next generation.