Deer Creek coach Grant Gower has hands-on approach to teaching history

Deer Creek football coach Grant Gower books the best guest speakers for his history class - by dressing up as them.

BY JASON KERSEY, Staff Writer, jkersey@opubco.com Published: November 14, 2011

EDMOND — Grant Gower gave a lecture to his U.S. History class at Deer Creek High School on former President Woodrow Wilson, his Fourteen Points speech and the League of Nations on Monday.

Then Gower left the room to get his “guest speaker.”

After a few moments of anticipation, a voice boomed from outside the classroom.

“Ladies and gentlemen, the president of the United States, Woodrow Wilson,” the voice said.

And in came Gower, dressed as the 28th president, with “Hail to the Chief” blaring from his iPhone speaker.

Gower, Deer Creek's head football coach, books all the best speakers for his classes.

Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Richard Nixon and Will Rogers are among the roughly 12 historical figures that annually visit Room 109 at Deer Creek High School.

Gower taught math for the first part of his career and then entered administration. When he came back to the classroom about 10 years ago, he began teaching history.

“It really is a way to get students motivated and get them involved,” Gower said. “In algebra, it's hard to come in as Pythagoras.”

Gower said he got the idea from the 1980s movie “Teachers.” In the movie, a teacher named Mr. Gower teaches history by dressing up as historical figures.

Wilson, a more academic president, is much tamer than some of Gower's other, more outlandish, characters. He recently came in as Theodore Roosevelt, the boisterous, adventurous 26th president.

After the Christmas break, Gower will come — in a wheelchair — as Franklin Roosevelt, the polio stricken president during the Great Depression and World War II.



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