Duane Bollenbacher


Duane BollenbacherWhy do you enjoy teaching at Bluffton? What makes it unique?

In general, we have students who have a good basic philosophy of living. They come from good families and schools.

What excites me about teaching math education?
Helping students understand the basic concepts and helping them see the many connections within the area of mathematics.

I knew I was destined to teach math when...
In seventh grade I loved all sports and kept stats of every kind. I thought if I became a math teacher and a coach I could combine my love of sports with mathematics. So I did teach high school math for 30 years and coached varsity sports for 17 of those years. I coached boys and girls basketball, that was when girls basketball was just becoming a state sponsored sport. I also coached baseball and cross country.

Favorite class to teach and why...
As long as it has mathematics and education students, I enjoy it. I work mostly with middle-childhood students and AYA math teachers-to-be.

Favorite time/place/event on campus...
The classroom. I enjoy teaching and I enjoy students.

When I'm not teaching, I enjoy...
Attending sporting events, doing puzzles both math and word puzzles, spending time with my grandchildren.

My favorite elementary/middle/high school teacher was who and why?
My junior high and senior high history teacher because he was passionate about his subject and kept the students involved and focused.

My first job was...
Painting houses and barns when I was 14 years old. We lived in a farming area so it was just a matter of working to earn money. I was paid 40 cents an hour.

As a college student, I was involved in...
I was involved with the basketball team at Miami University as manager and statistician. I also handled travel plans and hotel arrangements for the team. I was involved with math teacher organizations and both played and officiated intramural sports.

Favorite vacation destination/activity...
Summer math workshops for teachers. I've been doing them for 22 years and we've brought over 800 math teachers to campus. I get to work with math teachers who are out there in the classroom every day.

Someday I would like to (what's on my bucket list)...
People ask me how much longer I'm going to teach, it's been 46 years. I've traveled very little but I'd like to see much of the United States, especially the northwest, the Grand Canyon and the New England area.