From The Bahamas to Bexley: teachers’ past careers

Scott Logsdon helps to prepare his student for their dive in The Bahamas. Now a biology teacher at Bexley, Logsdon’s life has changed significantly since 1991. (Photo given to The Torch by Scott Logsdon)

When one walks into a classroom everyday, they probably don’t imagine their teacher having once been a marine biologist, a DJ or a food scientist for Coca-Cola. However, there are a handful of teachers at the high school who have had unique job experiences throughout the world before starting a career at Bexley.

Science teacher Scott Logsdon said he taught marine science and was a SCUBA guide in The Bahamas for three years before he was a teacher at Bexley. Logsdon explained that he started teaching in 1991 and was hired by a non-profit organization, International Field Studies, to teach and serve as a divemaster, guiding students around the coral reefs all over the Bahamas. Logsdon added that he worked with high school and college students from all around the world. 

“We had schools from England, we had schools from Canada and we had some schools from The Bahamas,” Logsdon said. “Anybody could come to this program if they wanted to.”

Logsdon said along with the SCUBA program, he participated in a sailing expedition where at one point he spent seven months living on a sailboat. He visited 40 to 50 islands in The Bahamas chain throughout this excursion, he added.

“I never experienced a time where I didn’t see something new,” Logsdon said. “It wasn’t scripted–it was a job that never became boring.“

He explained he was coming back to The Bahamas across the Gulf of Mexico from Fort Lauderdale after gathering supplies with his captain and a few of their clients. On their return, they encountered 15 to 20-foot waves that were half the height of the entire boat for two days straight, pushing them far off course with no sense of direction.

During the experience, the GPS would flash on and off, and he would have to quickly figure out where they were, in which direction they were headed and how far they still needed to go.

“The weather was so bad that the GPS wasn’t making satellite connections,” Logsdon explained. “That storm pushed us 150 miles north of where we should have been.”

During the storm,  Logsdon remembered one of his clients throwing up on the edge of the boat and then disappearing. 

“She wasn’t in a harness, and it was bad weather,” Logsdon said. “I looked back and she was gone.”

He said he thought she had gone overboard, but in reality she had just walked around him.

Logsdon and computer science teacher Patrick Cummins both enjoyed their careers, but have found a home in teaching.

Cummins said he has worked at least seven jobs in completely separate fields throughout his career, from food science and technology for Coca-Cola to building houses and pharmaceutical engineering. Cummins added in his late 30s he got a degree in software engineering and became a teacher first at Dublin Jerome, then moved to working at Bexley when a position became available.

Cummins said he initially wanted to be a chemist, but when he finally became one, he didn’t enjoy it as much as he thought he would have. He emphasized the importance of having another job idea in mind in case the original job doesn’t work out. 

“Today’s youth, they should be prepared for more than one topic,” Cummins said. “If something goes wrong, you will always have a fall back.”

Cummins said he also worked in night clubs, similar to English teacher Chad Hemmelgarn. 

In seventh grade, Hemmelgarn said the DJ for his school dance couldn’t make it, so he decided to play some of his own records so the dance could continue. The administration enjoyed his music so much that he was able to DJ his school dances all the way through middle school and high school. He added that one of his teachers ran a mobile DJ set and wanted Hemmelgarn to work for him.

“I had a set in Columbus with me that I would use at college parties and tailgate parties, but I would also drive back to where I grew up on the weekends to DJ corporate events and weddings,” Hemmelgarn said. “It paid my way through college.” 

He said he stopped his DJ career when he had his first child in 2006. Hemmelgarn said he misses being a DJ because he enjoyed giving people a time to remember, but he doesn’t think that he would have wanted to continue being a DJ as a full time job.

He said his favorite moment as a DJ was when he played for a wedding. He stayed until 3 a.m., and every year after that, the couple invited him to DJ their reunion party. 

“I got to know their family and friends very well over the decade I DJ’ed for their huge family bash,” Hemmelgarn said.

He added that he doesn’t think he could have molded DJing into a full time job, but he has definitely enjoyed it as a hobby.

“I don’t [miss it] when it is just a job,” Hemmelgarn said. “I miss it when I just let loose and have fun.” 

Logsdon smiles in front of the FoFar Field Station in Andros Island, The Bahamas, 1991. (Photo given to The Torch by Scott Logsdon)
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Dylan Horn
Dylan Horn is a junior at Bexley High School and a reporter for the Torch student newspaper. He is also a varsity Cross-country and Track runner, and member of the high school’s hope squad.