Eric R. Mathews
Marketing Education Instructor
Akron Public Schools
Eric Mathews has been the Marketing Education instructor and DECA advisor at Akron Public Schools in Ohio since 2010. Teaching is Mathews’ second career after working for Ford Motor Company and Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, and his background brings a unique and valuable perspective to the classroom. In each of his three years as DECA advisor, Mathews has coached successively larger groups to success. By his third year, 24 of Mathews’ students qualified for the state competition, six were named top 10 finalists and two qualified for national competition. Mathews puts his students to work practicing what they learn in class: Believing his students to be the best marketing tool for his program, he assigns his juniors to find their replacements for the next year.
Mathews is a leader within his district. As part of a statewide team of teachers, he led an initiative to teach global skills and competencies to CTE students, putting together a training program on workplace skills to help students obtain and keep their jobs. After two years of teaching, he participated in the Aspiring Principal’s Academy, after which he functioned as an interim assistant principal at his high school for six weeks. During this time, he realized his passion for preparing students to be career- and postsecondary education-ready in the classroom. “[Mathews] has had an enormous impact on my life,” says Ryan Cantrell, a former student. “In addition to being a teacher, he is a role model [and] a mentor, and now I hope I may call him a friend.”
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