In mid October, the South Colonie Central School District announced a new series titled “Meet the Pack” aimed at highlighting South Colonie staff members that go above and beyond for the school community.
Eric Obermayer is a shining example of an outstanding South Colonie teacher and community member. Born and raised in South Colonie, he attended Lisha Kill Middle School, the same school he has been teaching at for the last 19 years.
Known for his longstanding commitment and dedication to South Colonie, Obermayer’s nomination highlights his passion for working with students and his connection to the community. “He was the South Colonie modified basketball coach for fifteen years. He also moved up the ranks to become the current Chief of The Midway Fire Department while having two young children. He always gives one hundred percent of his heart!”
Obermayer has integrated these foundations into the classroom as a teacher. “I believe social studies is very important as it helps students understand the world around them,” he said. “I try to make it as real as possible for my students. I show them how the topics we are learning in the classroom apply to real life.”
Through his foundations of teaching, Obermayer hopes that learning and understanding social studies will help shape his students into upstanding citizens. “Social studies helps young people understand how to interact with their peers and community,” he added. “ We can learn from our country’s past mistakes to make sure they don’t happen again.”
One favorite topic of study for Obermayer’s classes is traits of the American Presidents. “You can help instill positive values in students by showing them how the values apply to real life history.”
Recently, his class studied George Washington and the topic of focus was perseverance. “It showed them that in life you will have obstacles and you are going to have to adapt but you have to keep moving in order to achieve your goal,” he said.
In addition to his commitment to the classroom, Obermayer has a lot of respect for his fellow South Colonie staff members. “I would nominate every teacher in the district for a Meet the Pack spotlight if I could,” he said. “The level of commitment from our South Colonie staff amazes me everyday. You can put everyone’s name in a hat and randomly draw and they will be just as deserving of this recognition.”
When Obermayer was 16 years old, he joined the local fire department—and 26 years later— he is still a member today. This year marks his second year serving as chief of the department. “Throughout the years, I have had 15 to 20 students who have joined the department,” he said. “While supporting my community in this way is certainly fulfilling, I also love seeing my students pursue their dreams of becoming firefighters.”
In addition to teaching in the classroom and his work at Midway Fire Department, Obermayer is on the Memorial Day Committee at Lisha Kill. The committee hosts a ceremony to help students understand the meaning behind the holiday. He also helps organize the three on three fundraiser basketball tournament which is held annually in memory of South Colonie Teacher Ross Buddenhagen and student Justin Mirabile. The tournament is scheduled to take place in a few weeks on March 10, in the Lisha Kill gymnasium.
Despite all of the accomplishments Obermayer has displayed in his professional and personal life, he still takes the most pride in his family. His wife, Kristen is also a graduate of South Colonie and together they have two young sons. “My oldest goes to Saddlewood and the little one is home throwing toys around,” he joked.