Get To Know New Teachers At Central: Mr. VanMeter


Kaili Best, Staff Writer

CENTRAL TIMES: Where did you attend high school? College?

VANMETER: I graduated from Central in 2014. Then I went to Western Kentucky University and I graduated from there in the Fall of 2018.

CENTRAL TIMES: What gave you the idea to become a teacher?

VANMETER: My mom is a teacher and my grandmother was a teacher and my dad was a teacher, so it’s in my blood. I guess you could consider me a third generation teacher. Growing up, mom always came home and told me these stories about how much she enjoyed her job and how much kids would come back and tell her the impact she made on their lives. She never once complained about the money, so for her to do it for as long as she does and to have the stories and to make that impact… because I knew I wanted to help people, I just didn’t know how. I thought about being a police officer, but that kind of fell through. I’m deaf in my right ear so the whole gun thing would probably, without hearing protection, not be good. I knew I wanted to help people and basically, the stories I got from my mom and my grandmother kind of pushed me towards being a teacher. 

CENTRAL TIMES: How long have you been teaching?

VANMETER: Officially, one year in February. I got a long- term sub position here for P.E. and they technically hired me, but I wasn’t emergency certified, and that was February of 2018. 

CENTRAL TIMES: Did you teach at any other school(s)? If so, where?

VANMETER: So in order to be a teacher, you have to do student teaching, which is kind of like an internship. So I student taught at E-town high school, and that as for the entire fall semester which is from August and I was done the first week of December. I had my first coaching job there too, I was a baseball coach last year at E-town.

CENTRAL TIMES: What brought you to Central Hardin?

VANMETER: It’s home. I always saw myself being here, but I also knew that social studies jobs are hard to come by, because once you get a social studies position, you’re there for a long time. They called me late June/ early July and told me that there was a possibility that [a job] would open up. I had honestly had an interview at Hart County High School, so I almost ended up there. I wanted to come here from the get go, it was just a matter of if I would get here in time. 

CENTRAL TIMES: How has your experience at Central been so far?

VANMETER: It’s been good. There’s a lot of things though that taking the classes doesn’t prepare you for. You learn a lot your first year, but overall, it’s been great. The kids are good, and I’ve been very fortunate to have the kids that I’ve had. 

CENTRAL TIMES: What class/classes do you teach? Have you always taught that subject?

VANMETER: This trimester it’s all Arts and Humanities and it’s Art and Drama. Last trimester I had all Arts and Humanities and one U.S. History. Third trimester I will have two U.S. Histories, and Political Science, and a Study Hall. When I student taught, it was World History, which, at E-town, that’s their Sophomore Social Studies. So, World History is what I’m used to teaching, but I did sub at T.K. Stone for a lady who taught Arts and Humanities, so I’m familiar with the content. I guess you can technically say that I’m used to teaching Arts and Humanities and World History. 

CENTRAL TIMES: Is there a reason that you chose to teach that subject?

VANMETER: My favorite classes whenever I was a student was always History. I always had really good teachers. They were always my favorite classes because they were really good teachers, and then when I got to college I started for a business degree, but the business courses were super boring. My favorite courses were the pre reqs which entails: History, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology and those were my favorite classes. So I went to Western and I was like, “hey, I need to talk to someone about possibly being a Social Studies teacher.”

CENTRAL TIMES: What is your favorite part about being a teacher?

VANMETER: It would probably be easier to tell you the stuff that I don’t like, because there’s more that I like than I don’t like. I like it all. I like being able to interact with the kids and see them understand something. When you see that lightbulb go off, that’s the best part. Knowing that you’re able to be a positive role model for these kids that may not have one. That’s the most rewarding part is knowing that you’re making a difference and helping kids understand… because a lot of kids come into school and hate it, but if you’re able to say, “hey, I really enjoyed your class,” that makes it worth it. 

CENTRAL TIMES: Have you ever had any other career than teaching, if so, what were they?

VANMETER: As soon as I graduated from Central, I worked at Knights Mechanical and I worked there on and off for about four years. Any time we had a break like Summer break and Winter break I would go up there and work, which is like plumbing, heating, and air. I used to mow for my grandfather, but other than that it’s always been either those two or teaching. 

CENTRAL TIMES: How do you spend your free time outside of school?

VANMETER: I’m big into the outdoors, I love being outdoors. Fish, hunt, and I’m actually a gamer too. I play a little bit of play station. Now I’m going to be coaching Softball. I really enjoy that, I love coaching, because it gives you a chance to build your relationships with kids.