Colin Chapman: Social studies teacher, Bellefonte Area High School
When Colin Chapman explains how he got into teaching social studies, he said with a laugh that “it just sort of happened.” After all, he intended to study music education while at Mansfield University, and by happenstance got into history and social studies, instead.
“I think as I was (studying) music, I realized I just enjoyed playing it more, but in terms of teaching, I gravitated more to the social studies side of it because it was interesting,” he said.
Chapman has been teaching at Bellefonte Area High School for more than six years, with classes that include U.S. history 600, a College in High School class through the University of Pittsburgh; AGE literacy collaborative, which focuses on early American history, geography and economics; and Advanced Placement comprehensive politics.
“One of the things I like to do in class is get into the story,” he said. “I like looking at what really happened in history, because sometimes, over time, stories develop. So, I like looking at the facts of it and how those stories developed and happened the way they did.”
He landed in Bellefonte after a teaching job his wife had helped bring him to the area. Erin was a former special education teacher at Bellefonte Area School District and now works at Central Intermediate Unit 10.
“I went to college with Erin and she got a job first, so we moved down here,” Chapman said. “I subbed for a little while, and took a bunch of other random jobs before I was hired.”
That included selling vehicles at a Ford dealership in State College and working at the Bicycle Shop in State College – an employment opportunity that fit in with his interests. Chapman said he enjoys cycling – mountain and road biking. He also plays the saxophone and has been playing ice hockey on an adult league at Penn State’s Pegula Ice Area since he moved to the area in 2015.
*By Brit Milazzo, public relations director, BASD