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Spotlights

Otterbein alum Juravich ’05 named 2018 Ohio Teacher of the Year

Otterbein alum Juravich ’05 named 2018 Ohio Teacher of the Year


By Meagan Van Stone ’19

An Otterbein alum has been named the Ohio Teacher of the Year thanks to his teaching efforts that span multiple age groups.

Jonathan Juravich ’05 is an art teacher at Liberty Tree Elementary in Powell, Ohio. He teaches kindergarten through fifth grade and is a middle school cross country and track coach. He is also an art education teacher and adjunct instructor of art methods of instruction at Otterbein.

“I love all the ages I teach because I’m getting to see students at different developmental stages,” he said.

Recently, Juravich was named the 2018 Ohio Teacher of the Year by the Ohio Department of Education (ODOE). In its announcement, the ODOE applauded his annual outreach programs at Olentangy Schools and throughout central Ohio that showcase student artwork and get families involved with their children’s educations. He develops art programs for the Columbus Zoo and Columbus Arts Festival, and serves as a leader in the Ohio Art Education Association.

In August, Juravich received the State Board District 6 Teacher of the Year award. He will represent Ohio in the national 2018 Teacher of the Year program sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers in spring 2018.

“This award is incredibly humbling. There are so many incredible educators in the state. This is not just an award for me, it’s also for my school and teaching communities that I’m part of. I’m grateful for the teachers who have influenced me,” Juravich said.

Juravich strongly believes that Otterbein shaped him to be the teacher he is today. He said the Integrative Studies courses helped him become a well-rounded person and educator. His different experiences with being a part of athletic teams and their trips helped mold his teaching style today.

“Otterbein had so many incredible courses and experiences that taught me how to appreciate the world around me,” Juravich said. “I’m not teaching geology, but those classes really helped make me the person I am.”

Juravich believes the best thing he learned from the art program at Otterbein was how to value student artwork.

“I had to learn that it was created by a person and it should be valued. I learned how to focus on seeing my students each as individuals.”

Juravich was raised with two artists who provided him with great experiences which led him to want to share those experiences with other people. That is when he decided he wanted to teach. He loves sharing his enthusiasm of art with students and watching students share that same enthusiasm.  


Learn more about the Otterbein Department of Art and Education.