National Teacher of the Year

1982 National Teacher of the Year

NameBruce Brombacher

School Information

School Address
Jones Junior High SchoolUpper Arlington, OH
Teaching AreaMathematics

Washington, D.C. - April 15, 1982 - A 33-year-old Vietnam veteran from Ohio, who gave up a promising scientific career to go into public school teaching, was honored at White House ceremonies today as the 1982 National Teacher of the Year.

First Lady Nancy Reagan presented Bruce Brombacher of Upper Arlington, Ohio, with the crystal apple award as members of Brombacher's family, including his wife and parents, looked on.

Brombacher, a mathematics teacher at Jones Junior High School in Upper Arlington, a suburb of Columbus, was chosen from among the 1982 state teachers of the year in an annual program that focuses public attention on excellence in teaching. The program, now in its 31st year, is sponsored by the Encyclopaedia Brittanica Companies, the Council of Chief State School Officers and Good Housekeeping magazine.

Brombacher, who was named earlier as the 1982 Ohio Teacher of the Year, is a member of a teaching family, ten of whom have taught in the Ohio public school system for a combined total of more than 100 years. A husky, six-foot, four-inch choir singer and sports enthusiast, he has been teacher for only six years, all of them at Jones Junior High School, which has 650 students. Brombacher is described as a hard-working, highly-dedicated teacher who finds working with children 'an exhilarating experience' and who believes teaching is a 24-hour-a-day job.

"I see my role as a facilitator of learning," he points out. "I try to make it possible for all my students to have a chance to be successful at tasks that suit their talents and to see that someone loves them and cares about what they accomplish. I personally invite all my students to become active participants in their own learning."

During his six-year teaching career at Jones, he has been chairman of the mathematics department; organized the school's new microcomputer laboratory; played a major role in designing a curriculum for the new middle school structure; and organized faculty intramural competitions to reduce teacher "burnout" and boost morale.

Brombacher has also been a vital part of his school's transition into the middle school program. He has also taken part in an experimental teaching program involving both traditional and informal teaching methods, and is the only faculty member teaching in both. Brombacher works closely with parents and parent-teacher groups, including a Quality of Life program which examines drug abuse, vandalism, alcoholism and other problems, and in a Partnership Program where students visit a retirement community to share experiences, exchange views and learn about aging.

"Bruce has been praised by his students, fellow teachers, school staff and parents as a tremendously dedicated, caring teacher," said Franklin B. Walter, Ohio Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Homer Mincy, Upper Arlington Superintendent of Schools, says Bruce "makes learning come alive for eighth graders. As well as being an excellent teacher, he provides much leadership within the teaching profession."

Brombacher entered teaching after earning an undergraduate degree in physics and mathematics at Heidelberg College and a master's degree in physics from Ohio State University. He fully intended to go into scientific research, and was in fact pushed into this field, he feels now, by guidance counselors who felt he had a talent in that direction. At Heidelberg he worked as a laboratory teaching assistant and tutor, and obtained internships at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Argonne National Laboratory.

After serving in Vietnam for 11 months, where in addition to his military duties he as a drug counselor and Vietnamese language specialist, he attend Ohio State. There he taught undergraduate courses and found teaching "exciting and rewarding in contrast to the stark loneliness of research in a small laboratory."

After receiving his teaching certification from Otterbein College at age 27, the Upper Arlington School District hired him in 1976 and he has been there since.

Brombacher was born in Bucyrus, Ohio in 1948 and graduated from Bucyrus High School. He and his wife, Marcia, have been married since 1973 and have two children, Ryan and Erin. As 1982 Teacher of the Year, Brombacher will be speaking at education conventions, seminars, conferences and similar gatherings representing the nation's teachers.

Other finalists for 1982 were Mrs. Darlene Joyce Frazier of Boone Junior-Senior High School in Boone, IA; Mr. Mel Miller of L'Anse Creuse Middle School-North in Mt. Clemens, Michigan; and David F. Bernard-Stevens of Papillion-LaVista Senior High School in Papillion, Nebraska.