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Still teaching after all these years

If you have attended Greenville public school in the past 40 years, there is a good chance you had W.S. Godwin for English.

Godwin teaches English and journalism at GMS and has been teaching for 43 years. Last week, he found out he would be honored as teacher of the year.

“Its something you don’t expect,” Godwin said. “Its wonderful that they think as a teacher I have gone above and beyond.”

Godwin says as an educator, he is bothered by student apathy.

“The majority of students have the complacency that is not necessary to get a good education,” Godwin said. “They have to understand that to be successful, you have to learn how to fill out applications, to write and express yourself verbally.”

Godwin always wanted to be a doctor growing up. Money, he explained, was more important to him when he was younger.

“I have never been rich and will probably never be rich,” Godwin said. “But I am probably the wealthiest person in Butler County because I have nine children who have all gone on to be successful.”

Godwin has six boys and three girls. Five have graduated from college, two are still there and two are still in public school.

All of his children, he explained, have gone to public schools and received a good education.

“My wife is certified in math and science and I am in English and history,” Godwin said. “My kids couldn’t ever get away from education.”

Throughout his time teaching, Godwin has become known for the trips he takes students on.

The trips, he said, allow students to see such sights as Washington, D.C, Amish country in Pennsylvania and New York City.

“How many children in Butler County have been to New York, or will have the opportunity to do so?” Godwin asked.

The students for these trips are hand-selected by Godwin. They do not come from any particular school, or even county. The trips are fun, Godwin added, but always educational.

“To see something is worth a million words as opposed to hearing about it,” Godwin said. “To me, that is far more educational than any classroom.”