Distinguished Educator

Jim Cleveland

My teaching career began in Hamburg in 1970 after graduating from SUNY Brockport. I completed a dual certification program earning a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Health Education teaching certificate. Continuing my professional growth, I earned a Master’s degree in Physical education with an emphasis in Athletic Training from Canisius College.   During the same period of time I completed certification requirements for NYS Department of Health, Bureau of Emergency Medical Services, Senior EMT Instructor and Basic EMT prehospital care provider status.

From 1970 to 1985 I taught Health Education to seventh, eighth, and ninth graders in a team teaching situation. The EMT program began during the ’79-’80 school year. The EMT course is a school to work program that offered students opportunities to market themselves to the medical and allied health fields. The EMT program continued to grow with the support of the community and the entire Hamburg Fire/EMS District to the point that the majority of my teaching was with the EMT classes. The EMT Department at Erie Community College continued the support of the High School program as the NYS course sponsor.

In conjunction with my teaching responsibilities I served on the District Comprehensive Health Curriculum Committee, District Health Council, Community Intervention Programs, Drug Free Prom celebrations, Co-advisor to SAAD activities, School wide Health fairs, and volunteered call time with Boston Emergency Squad.

I have been fortunate enough to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award in Health Education from NYSAHPERD in 1997, the EMS Educator of Excellence presented in 1999 by the NYS EMS Council, and Outstanding Service to the Community and the Students at Hamburg High School in 2000 from the Hamburg Volunteer Fire Department. In 2005 I was made an honorary member of the Hamburg Fire Department.

I retired from Hamburg High in 2002 but have continued to substitute teach for and support the EMT program. As I continue to teach the EMT course at Erie Community College today, I find that students and their learning still make my day.   My success is based on the success and growth of my students. I cherish the long term relationships I have enjoyed with them throughout the years.