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Teachers Across Central Ohio Start Receiving COVID-19 Vaccine

Adora Namigadde
Teachers wait in line for COVID-19 vaccine outside Reynoldsburg High School Livingston Campus

The line moved swiftly outside Reynoldsburg High School as teachers from across Central Ohio came to get vaccinated.

Reynoldsburg was one of two sites in the Columbus area, along with Hilliard Davidson High School, that begun administering the COVID-19 vaccine to teachers Tuesday. This week, school staff were newly eligible to receive the shots as part of Ohio's distribution plan.

Shelby Goldstein works at Groveport Madison Schools as a kindergarten student teacher. She was pleasantly surprised that her district invited her to get the vaccine.

“Being a student teacher, I’m not technically with the school,” Goldstein says. “So I wasn’t sure if they were gonna allow me to get it. But then we got an email sent from the principal that we could be included. I was really excited and jumped at the opportunity.”

Goldstein’s father is a pulmonologist, and his own experience as a frontline worker helped her feel comfortable getting vaccinated.

“My district is virtual for the rest of the week, just in case anyone is experiencing side effects. So if anything, I’m expecting maybe I’ll feel a little bit groggy,” Goldstein says. “But I definitely would rather have that than COVID.”

Dublin Scioto High School English language learner teacher Jim Naab was also vaccinated Tuesday. He is eager to get back to in-person learning. Ohio has set a goal of returning all districts to some form of in-person or hybrid learning by March 1, although some like Columbus City Schools made the switch yesterday.

“Our superintendent presented the opportunity to us, and I wanna do what’s right and wanna try to get past this,” Naab says. “They want us in the classroom, we want to be in the classroom with the kids. Kids need to be in school so everything we can do to make that happen.”

Naab says the virtual classroom setting doesn’t allow students to fully engage in classroom content.

“It’s best for everybody," Naab says. "It’s best for the kids for the socialization aspect of it, besides the learning aspect of it. It’s what’s best for kids and best for us.”

Reynoldsburg and Hilliard Davidson high schools will run vaccination clinics Tuesday-Friday from 12-8 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine said vaccinations will be staggered throughout February.

Adora Namigadde was a reporter for 89.7 NPR News. She joined WOSU News in February 2017. A Michigan native, she graduated from Wayne State University with a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in French.