Celebrating A Job Well Done
Teri Rash, Director of Marketing & Communications

Mr. Scott Firebaugh has a wealth of experience in education as he wrapped up his 45th year teaching in May 2020.  Over the years, he's taught primarily math courses, but he also taught Physics for 22 years and Bible for over 30 of those years.

Mr. Firebaugh's classroom has always been a source of inspiration and humor.  From humorous posters (like "Student Utopia" and "Math Heaven"), clever quotes, riddles, and scripture on the walls, Mr. Firebaugh has long been a beloved teacher by students and parents at Grace Christian Academy.  Alumni fondly recall receiving a birthday card the year after their graduation, a pleasant and touching surprise from a former teacher.  

When asked about some of his favorite memories from teaching over the last 45 years, several examples from his own children's experiences came to mind - they were also students of his!  

Mr. Firebaugh shared one favorite moment from his teaching career.  "My son was an excellent basketball player.  The coach called after one away game (that I did not go to) that 'Firebaugh' had made a 3 to send the game into overtime and then won the game with a layup." (Proud dad moment!)

Mr. Firebaugh's love for spelling bees and his personal success in those competitions were also shared by his children.  He recalls, "I had coordinated spelling bees for about 20 years by 1995 when my twins were old enough to go to the district ACSI spelling bee.  The top 8 from grades 5-8 made the final 8 contest later that day. I hoped that maybe one of them would come in first or second in the grade 6 bee to qualify for the second bee.  (I was not in the room as I was the pronouncer for another grade.)  I heard someone in the hall talking about the red-haired girls that kept going and going.  They both made the final 8 bee and when it got down to just two, they went about another 50 rounds!  I did not know they were good spellers (Susan worked with them), so I was sitting there beaming and feeling proud (in the right sense)."

The Firebaugh's daughter, Stacia, surpassed her older sisters, going to the National Spelling Bee twice.  Mr. Firebaugh also fondly remembers the day "in 2008 that she came into my first period class from her English class saying that she was a national merit semi-finalist."

Although he has many fond memories of his time in education, students that he's mentored, and effective strategies that he's developed, he remembers back to the challenges of his first year in education.

"My first year teaching in a suburb of Detroit was horrible.  The kids were out of control and I was trying everything I could to get them to be quiet and do their work.  Often after school I would go into my office and cry and feel sorry for myself.  That was a painful, but helpful  year.  God was teaching me humility and patience.  I went to Kokomo, IN the next year and classes were much better."  After two more years of adjustment, "I stayed another 27 years, until grades 7-12 were closed."

Mr. Firebaugh's devotion to his students has always been evident in his availability to support, his encouragement, and his unceasing devotion in helping students do their best.  As Mr. Firebaugh retires, he hopes that he made a lasting mark on their lives.  "I hope they remember that I did my best to help them.  My reward is when they succeed (1 Th. 2:20, 3 John 4)."

When asked how he hopes students have been changed by having been in his class, he had a ready answer.  "I hope they do their best as unto the Lord (Col. 3:23, Eccl. 9:10).  They should be quick to give God credit for any good thing they have done (1 Cor. 4:7, Phil. 2:13).  They should always be honest and maintain their integrity (Job 2:3)."

Thank you, Mr. Firebaugh, for the authenticity, Christ-like love and dedication that you've demonstrated to our students and families.  GCA is a better place because of your time here!