Anchorage — Real-world experience can lead to a successful teaching career in the classroom. KTVA 11’s Teacher of the Week is proof of that.


Central Middle School of Science teacher Scott Shumway is a former microbiologist on the slope and a fisheries biologist for Alaska’s Department of Fish and Game. He is also an avid fisherman, hunter and aviator.


“Science is my hobby, I think as much as it is my career,” explained Shumway. “I think that’s an important piece of being an educator, being comfortable in your subject and really liking it, having it be what you do outside of the classroom as well as inside the classroom.”


Whether shells, rocks or other pieces of the natural world, Shumway often brings back samples from his travels to use in class.


“There’s a great geology in Alaska, but it’s hard to get kids to it. So essentially I’m like, well I’m going to bring this geology to them,” said Shumway.


Along with practicing what he preaches, Shumway said the other secret to his success is caring for his students.


“I want them to be successful in high school and have successful careers regardless of what they’re doing. I’m not trying to make them be scientists but I think in today’s world, boy it’s important to have a good background and sense of the process,” explained Shumway. “And I think they believe that. I think that comes through. They know you care about them. They know you want them to succeed.”


Shumway also coaches the Central Middle School robotics team. It has only been in existence for two years, but has already had great success.The team recently took third in the state championship and will soon compete in a national competition in Fayetteville, Arkansas.


James Gaddis can be reached at and on Twitter.



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