25: Bonus Edition- Interview with James Sturtevant



James Sturtevant first stepped in front of high school students in the late summer of 1985. He predicted he would teach a year or two, before pursuing something grown up: go to law school, get a PhD, or enter the private sector and earn a fortune. But, a funny thing happened on the way to the Forum. James fell in love with his students. Could one really get paid for bonding with young people? The answer was…ABSOLUTELY! And still is, some thirty years and thousands of students later. “Your students seem so relaxed and happy. How’d you create this atmosphere?” was the haunting question a visiting Education professor once asked James after observing his class. Caught off guard, he gave a meager and vague response. After much reflection and research, James is now prepared to answer the question.

He teaches at Big Walnut High School in Sunbury, Ohio. He is married to Penny who is a middle school principal. They have 3 children…Jason, David, and Maria, and one grandchild…Kaia. James is also an author of “You’ve Gotta Connect” published in 2014 (see link below) and Professional Development Presenter. He has been featured in numerous publications (listed below).



  • Your students are mirror images of you.
  • Accept your students exactly where they are.
  • Necessity is the mother of invention.


James’ Stamp of Approval:

  • Differentiation
  • Rubric
  • Formative and Summative Assessments
  • Think-Pair-Share
  • Self Directed Learning
  • Professional Development communities
  • Creation of Teacher Websites
  • Bring Your Own Technology
  • Flipped Classrooms
  • Essential Questions
  • Project Based Learning

Connect with James:

  • Email: pjsturtevant@gmail.com
  • Website: Jamesalansturtevant.com
  • Twitter: @jamessturtevant
  • Book: “You’ve Gotta Connect”  http://amzn.to/119pnEL
  • Additional Publications:- Ohio Schools Magazine April, 2015 pp. 9-10.- In July of 2015, my blog post “Bullying Bonding” was picked up by the Huffington Post: http://huff.to/1GZEJbs- The September, 2015 issue of Principal Leadership includes my article “Does Your Staff Bond Well with Students?” pp. 16-17.- In September of 2015, my blog post “A Teacher’s Eureka Moment” was picked up by the Huffington Post: http://huff.to/1G8Vcew- In October of 2015, my blog post ”Samsara…Embrace Change!” was picked up by the Huffington Post: http://huff.to/1LAOtyt- In November of 2015, my blog post ”Does Competition Really Bring out the Best in People?” was picked up by the Huffington Post: http://huff.to/1RdPGQ5


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About the author, Gretchen

I am a teacher trainer and coach. Working elbow to elbow with teachers and teacher leaders to ensure instructional proficiency and student achievement soar lights me up. We have a real need in our nation for strong educators to remain in the field. My blog, book, podcast, courses and instructional materials are geared towards empowering teachers (and those that lead them) to receive the support needed to grow and thrive today, tomorrow and always.