John M. Blough
Faculty: Social Studies Department
Room: C229
Phone: (814) 381-7500 - Ext. 7229

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"I'm just a Bill!" (Halloween 2013)

M.Ed. - Secondary Education - California University of PA - 2014 (summa cum laude)
B.A. - Political Science - Lock Haven University of PA - 2010 (summa cum laude)
B.S. - Secondary Education - Lock Haven University of PA - 2010 (summa cum laude)

My name is John Blough and I'm in my seventh year of teaching civics at Altoona Area Junior High School. I am also a coach/adviser for the AAHS Mock Trial Team. I graduated from Lock Haven University's Honors Program in 2010 with dual degrees in secondary education and political science. I'm a member of the Pennsylvania Council for the Social Studies (PCSS) and its parent organization, the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS). Since 2005 I have been a committee member of the Altoona Sister City Exchange Program, an initiative started by City Council to promote relations between Altoona and St. Polten, Austria. I have received several scholarships, awards, and fellowships for my work in academia and public education, such as the 2008 PASSHE Summer Honors Fellowship to travel to East Asia and conduct research regarding economic development for months in China. In 2007, I interned for the US Senate in Washington, DC. In addition, I was honored with being a 2011 Gilder Lehrman Institute Summer Fellow at Stanford University Law School, where I spent several weeks attending a workshop in constitutional history. In my free time, I enjoy photography, painting, hockey, disc golf, traveling the country and world, cooking, reading, geocaching, hiking/backpacking, fly fishing, and brushing up on my Spanish.

My areas of specialty in civics/government focus on constitutional law/history, federalism, public policy, and the relationship between the mass media and politics. My teaching philosophy is predicated on using simulation activities to not only reinforce the material being taught, but to also make it more meaningful and interesting to those learning it. Thus, it is not uncommon in my classes to have mock trials, debates, elections, advertisements, census takings, letters to members of Congress, and other activities that simulate participation in government. For my honors sections, a strong writing focus will be present throughout the year and fundamentals of basic research methods will be developed. Teaching is a career for which I have great passion, and I'm looking forward to a great year!