While people might find Justin Good ‘01 taking in a Reds game at Great American Ball Park most nights during the dog days of summer, he actually works best among the elements inside his classroom at Anderson High School in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Good, who graduated from Wittenberg in 2001 with a degree in chemistry and a minor in education, just wrapped up his 21st year of teaching science at Anderson.
“I was lucky to get hired at a great school in a great community right after I graduated from Wittenberg,” said Good, who has mostly taught chemistry for college prep and honors students over the years. “I really enjoy working with so many awesome students and teachers. We have a good time making science active and fun! The countless student relationships developed over the years also make my job very rewarding.”
A big Cincinnati sports fan, Good, who grew up in Brookville, Ohio, has lived in Cincinnati for most of his life now. He received his master’s degree in educational administration from Xavier University in 2005, and he currently heads up Anderson’s academic recognition program, Anderson Achievers, coordinating staff, social events, and a Battle of the Bands competition. Additionally, he serves as the Ski Club adviser, organizing and chaperoning weekly trips to Perfect North Slopes every January and February.
“This is the career path that I hoped to follow after Wittenberg. I feel lucky that I’m happy, and it’s all played out as planned,” he said. “One thing that is important to me is making chemistry active and fun for the students. We do a lot of hands-on lab activities, demonstrations, and projects throughout the year. The students learn the content, but it’s important for them to interact with the subject matter and have memories about the course that will hopefully spark them to want to pursue science further.”
And when he says hands-on, he means it. Good is one of those teachers who believes that students learn better by doing and having fun. A few of the highlights of his school projects include blowing up a watermelon on day one, creating a life-sized periodic table out of carved pumpkins around Halloween time, and holding a soap convention where students make soap from scratch and then create a marketing campaign to compete for teacher votes.
“There have been a lot of changes in education over my career, especially with technology,” he said. “I try to make as many resources available to my students as possible, including video screencasts of class content on my school YouTube channel. In addition, I enjoy creating videos of my favorite demonstrations, activities, and some other school-related events that my students and others can access via YouTube and social media.”
Those interested can check out some of his videos here: Exploding Watermelon 2018 - YouTube; AHS Periodic Table of Pumpkins 2018 - YouTube; Chem Distillation Demo - YouTube. Some of his ideas were also born during his time at Wittenberg, Good explained, sharing that his favorite course was organic chemistry with Dr. Nelson Sartoris, professor emeritus of chemistry.
“I loved my four years at Wittenberg; I had a lot of great professors who were always available, and my classes were small,” said Good, who was involved with Beta Theta Pi during his student days. “The fraternity was significant in providing me with several leadership opportunities and experiences. It also introduced me to a lot of great people, who are lifelong friends. I’ve remained involved with the chapter over the years and have assisted in some advisory roles.
“The chemistry department at Wittenberg was excellent. I knew Wittenberg was right for me after my first visit to campus,” Good added. “I liked the size of the University and the location. The green space and hollows made for a beautiful campus. Wittenberg had a great reputation in terms of academics, and there were a lot of opportunities available. The thing that stands out the most, however, was the vibe that you got while walking around campus. Everyone was so friendly. It was impossible to walk past someone without them saying ‘hi!’ There was a great sense of community.”