The Vinton County Local School District staff and students are saddened by the loss of high school science teacher James Palmer. He died Tuesday, May 9, at the age of 62 after an extended illness.
Palmer, who was born in Bellaire, Ohio, had an impressive career in both education and in the private sector as well. As a teacher, he was employed at Vinton County High School for 13 years and impacted the lives of thousands of students during his tenure.
Palmer was an engineer by trade as he earned a degree in Engineering from Ohio University. He started his career in 1975 with the Southern Ohio Coal Co. After the mines closed, he returned to the OU classroom, earned his Master's Degree in Education and began his teaching career in Physical Science and Biology at Vinton County High School. He, among others, championed the Science Olympiad team, was a Science Club adviser for 11 years, and was involved with the National Honor Society for 12 years.
As he paid tribute to Palmer, Board of Education President Jeff Thacker reflected on how the popular teacher will always been remembered as someone who made the high school a better place and carved out a better learning environment.
"Mr. Palmer was a wonderful person and teacher who had a positive impact on anyone he came in contact with," said Thacker.
Thacker noted Palmer used his special skills, life experiences, and compassion to improve his students' lives and to help them realize their horizons were not limited; that they could accomplish their dreams. No matter what was going on in his life, he always had time for his students.
Thacker stated that Palmer was the kind of employee the school leaders and colleagues respect and are proud to honor for a life well lived.
The funeral for James Palmer was held at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 13 at the Hughes-Moquin Funeral Home in Athens. Calling hours were observed Friday evening and also prior to the funeral on Saturday morning.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Palmer's memory to the Vinton County Education Fund, Vinton County Schools, c/o Erica Zinn, 307 West High St., McArthur, Ohio, 45651.