Alumni Spotlight: Michael Galleher ’75

Michael Galleher ’75 is currently a teacher for GOAL Digital Academy, an online charter school located in Mansfield, OH. He teaches all subjects in the eighth grade. Galleher retired from Mount Gillead Schools in 2008.


[ACEL]: Hi Michael! Why did you select your major of agricultural and extension education?
[Galleher]: When I came to Ohio State, I wanted to be a 4-H extension agent due to my experiences as a summer assistant at the Morrow County Extension Office. 

Why did you choose to attend The Ohio State University?
My father who is also an OSU alumni recommended that I go to OSU instead of Murray State University or Wilmington College. He said, “If you are going to study agriculture, you should go to the best ag school around. 

How did your education at Ohio State influence your choice of career or your career path?
After attending Ohio State and majoring in agricultural education, I wasn’t able to find a job close to home in extension, so I started teaching production agriculture at Elgin High School in Marion County. I went back to school to be re-certified in grades 1-8 and taught for 10 years in first grade, six years teaching health and physical education, and finally my last seven years, I taught 7th grade science. My years in the Department of Agricultural Education prepared me to teach almost any subject matter I attempted.

What were you involved in as an Ohio State student?
As a student at Ohio State I was involved in student government serving in the Freshman Senate and I was dorm president of the Norton-Scott complex for two years. I was a tutor for the living-learning program in Norton-Scott. I also worked as a dish washer at the cattle blood typing lab in Plumb Hall, an intramural football official, and an office worker in Norton Scott. I was a member of the Towers Honorary.

What classes did you enjoy the most while at Ohio State?
I enjoyed any animal sciences class and the methods classes for agricultural education, especially the courses taught by Dr. Newcomb.  My two favorite classes were the horticulture class taught Dr. Geisman (everyone took that class to learn how to make jug wine on the last day of the quarter, although I did learn many things about horticulture, too) and the surveying class probably because two of my roommates took the class with me and we had a lot of fun working outside during the labs.

What professor, faculty or staff member had an impact on your education/career?
Ray Miller who worked with the Norton-Scott Complex helped me learn how to work with people who have differing viewpoints. During the time, I was on campus many changes were happening in dorm life and Dr. Miller helped guide us through those years. I also learned many things from Dr. Lowell Hedges who was a fellow teacher at Elgin when I started and later worked with OSU training new teachers. For the first few years of my teaching career, I was able to see Dr. Hedges in action every day and he was a great help to a beginning teacher and FFA advisor

What is your favorite memory related to your time at Ohio State?
I enjoyed attending football games with my roommates, sitting in C-Deck at the Horseshoe, no matter what the weather was. And then being down on the field after beating Michigan in 1974. 

What was your first job following your education at Ohio State?
I taught Production Agriculture at Elgin High School in Marion County.

Tell us about the positions you have held throughout your career in education.
Elgin High School – six years, Mount Gilead Schools – 23 years, GOAL Digital Academy – 14 Years. This is my 42nd year in education. My wife and I owned at craft shop in the 80’s called the “The Hobby Horse.”  I have coached middle school cross country at Mt. Gilead for 22 years and I am a part-time farmer raising Horned Dorset sheep. I have been a registered track official for the past 14 years.

During your career, have you received any awards or honors?
My girls cross country team placed first at the OHSAA State Invitational for two years in a row, 2015 and 2016.

As of today, what is your favorite career highlight?
Watching our graduation ceremony at GOAL Digital Academy each year. Our charter school is a school of last resort for many of our students.  It thrills me to see our students graduate and know that I had a small part in making that happen. For some of our students, they are the first from their family to receive a high school diploma.

What advice would you give to a current student?
Take advantage of the many opportunities to learn and grow at The Ohio State University. These years should be some of the best of your life and a foretaste of what can happen in future.

What did ACEL cultivate in you?
A love of learning and a need to share that with others.

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