GREENVILLE — Retired U.S. Navy Captain Scott D. Eberwine, of Oxford, Ohio, has joined the Greenville High School Staff as Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) Senior Naval Science Instructor.
Eberwine recently retired from the U.S. Navy as Captain, in Mechanicsburg Pennsylvania. He and his family returned to this area for a few reasons, including closer proximity to family.
“Everything sort of materialized,” Eberwine said. “This was the right place, and we are here for the right reasons.”
Eberwine said he was cleared by NJROTC to teach, and he began looking into programs. He looked into the Greenville School District, and it was without vacancies at the time. Substitute teaching was a way for him to decide if he liked teaching, he said. He was accustomed to working with older adults. He substituted in the counties of Butler and Warren for the past year in grades 4-12. He interviewed for a position in Cincinnati, and was not chosen.
“But, they were impressed enough to call Greenville, and the principal made a recommendation for me to Mr. Fries,” he said.
Greenville City School District Superintendent Doug Fries said, among other things that stood out about Eberwine, it that he has a Master’s Degree in Business Administration.
“He is very professional with all people and is a problem solver,” Fries said. “He believes in people and is helpful to them. He spent a year under water in a submarine, demonstrating to me great dedication and patience. These are things you want in someone working with youth.”
According to Eberwine, the most successful NJROTC programs are dependent upon the critical relationship between the chief and the captain.
“If we can’t work together, this program will not reach its potential,” Eberwine said. “I would not have come here if it wasn’t for him (Naval Science Instructor Chief Petty Officer Stephen Eldred).
“He has so much excitement for the program and he never says, ‘I can’t do’ anything. I never hear him say, ‘This is not my job.’ We are a team, and it’s pretty cool.”
The NJROTC count is at 88 students so far, which tends to fluctuate at the year’s beginning as the students add and drop programs.
“We have a good background of students here, and they are all unique,” he said. “We try to make them all come together as one. I am impressed with everyone and their enthusiasm for the program. My impressions after about three weeks of being here, is that it’s a pretty fluid environment.”
Eberwine said his background is good for teaching, as the NJROTC program offers such a variety that matches his background, including teaching, extracurricular activities, finances, and the back-office operations of reporting to the school district and to the U.S. Navy. Eberwine is quick to point out that the while the NJROTC is funded by the military, it is not a military organization.
“There is not a not a mandatory service requirement for people to go into the military, he said. “We just teach them the basics.”
One of Eberwine’s first experiences with the Greenville NJROTC students was working their fundraiser at Gate Five parking during the Darke County Fair.
“I enjoyed it, but we went from 10 straight days of that right into the first day of school, and now we are already into Homecoming Week,” he said. “The Chief and I are spending the first few weeks issuing uniforms, I am learning the curriculum for the first time through and other administrative duties. We have not quite reached what I would call a regular battle rhythm of activities or a daily routine yet. It is really busy right now.”
As far as his teaching philosophy, Eberwine believes in the old adage: there are lots of ways to skin a cat.
“I am open to change and to doing things better,” he said. “There is a method of process improvement that is studied by companies and colleges and others. I am a big believer in process improvement, and I don’t believe in staying where you are. There are better ways. How can we do things better? After time, I will start to learn the students. The key thing is being open and perceptive, and also recognizing that some people have a bad day. There is a time to press and a time not to press. I’m a naval officer, but a supply core officer is my specialty, with a logistics background. One unique thing about me, is that I could serve on all the different areas that the Navy offers, so I was able to do that. I have surface ship, submarine and air station supply officer experience. I also deployed as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, as part of a Navy Cargo Battalion, living on the beach in tents or in the dessert. I bring a lot of different variety, I think, and help relate a lot of the Navy to these students. The Chief has a varied background too. That is a neat experience to bring to students in this environment. I am excited to be here. From the Great Darke County Fair, to this great administration and these students; there is a great community feel about Greenville, for sure.”
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