Presented by Hometown-Motors Inc.
An area instructor who refers to himself as a “functional nerd” is proving how a small community native can grow into a well-known educator and inventor.
Paint Valley High School graduate Josh Montgomery gave a TED Talk at the TEDx Dayton Stage late last fall, which recently was made available online.
The former Chillicothe City Schools Technology Coordinator of 14 years, was one of 50 people to interview for the TED Talk out of over 300 people to apply, last May.
Montgomery was selected to give his talk in Dayton, Ohio last November concerning his construction of the Star Wars’ robot R2D2 in his basement five years ago.
The response of the TED Talk has been “good” according to Montgomery, saying many of the builder clubs have messaged him and said much of that has been “cool” to experience. He added that he hopes this will build enthusiasm for many others in the education world to attempt similar projects.
Mentors that Montgomery says he had taught coming up the ranks have taught him how to be a visionary in his field of interest. He pointed to instructors Regina Ferguson and Dennis Griffith at Southern State along with former Chillicothe City Schools Superintendent Jon Saxton.
“Jon Saxton was pinnacle to making me be a teacher. It wasn’t something I loved at the beginning of the process and I would have probably left if it wasn’t for Jon.” He said Saxton told him “Hold on, you need to stay the course here, this is going to be a dream job for you”.
Josh says this journey has helped him to get students more engaged in the process of how to build projects like this and how to convey the message that education can “be fun”. He uses his educational enthusiasm in the classroom as the Associate Professor of Computer Science at Southern State Community College.
He added that these types of skills in the classroom can also be useful for students who later are putting a job resume together.
Now as an instructor, Montgomery says “I don’t want to push someone to do an assignment, I want them to be excited about building this or designing this or programming this, I get my energy from that as well and then if it is a Saturday and we got to work, then they are excited about it- lets go make this happen.”
Prior to his TED Talk fame, Josh was making news for producing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) face masks on 3D printers for medical health care workers during the COVD-19 pandemic.