Ben Loshbough has returned to his roots at Watervliet Public Schools. A 2015 WHS graduate, Mr. Loshbough worked with WPS elementary school virtual learners during the pandemic. He has also worked as a Paraprofessional at Watervliet Middle School. This year, he joined the W-A-Y Watervliet High School Program as a mentor and has made quite the impact in his short time there. It seems that he has found his fit.
"Mr. Loshbough is helpful in getting me through tough problems when I am stuck on them,” said L.T. Oejtens, a student in the W-A-Y program. “I was stuck on a problem and I failed to get the answer four times. He came over and walked me through it. He helped me through step-by-step. "
The W-A-Y program provides a personalized learning experience for students who struggle with traditional high school. Students in the W-A-Y Program become researchers and develop customized standards-based learning paths around topics that truly appeal to them with the assistance of a mentor.
“We have kids at the W-A-Y who are behind and are recovering credits, and we have students who are accelerating and graduating up to a year earlier than their peers,” said Mr. Loshbough. “I like that I don't stand in front of a board to work with them, I work with them one-on-one. I get to do something different every day. It's fun -- I enjoy it.”
Mr. Loshbough’s impact on students is immeasurable.
“Kids respect him,” said W-A-Y Principal Jason Oetjens. “He's always down on their level when he's helping them. He has this ‘aura’ and the kids gravitate to him. He's open with the students and they open up to him. He's in the right business; we hope we can keep him at the W-A-Y.”
After graduating from WHS in 2015, Mr. Loshbough earned his associate’s degree and then took some time off to work as a broadcast personality on the Mid-West Family’s radio station WIRX. He left broadcasting in 2020 to go back to college and is working on his bachelor’s degree in education. He hopes to remain in the Watervliet Public School system as a teacher, and ideally to continue to work with W-A-Y students. Ben is also a WHS girls’ basketball assistant coach and track and field assistant coach.
The students at the W-A-Y program are so thankful for Mr. Loshbough’s mentorship and all the ways he helps them succeed in the program.
"When I first got into the program I was a little nervous,” said student Olivia Camp. “Mr. Loshbough is the person that I would turn to for help. He is usually the first person to greet us at the door."
Mr. Loshbough relates that “When I was a student at Watervliet High School, I would hang around after class or after school and talk to my teachers,” “I got to know them and it was comfortable to be around them. I'm more comfortable in my job because of those relationships that began when I was a student. Many of those teachers are now my friends and colleagues. My ability to build relationships with the kids at W-A-Y stems from having had those kinds of relationships with my teachers.”
Thank you, Mr. Loshbough, for helping all students in the W-A-Y program Learn by Heart!