Educator of the Week - Justin Rosenblad (Posthumous Honor)

*Justin Rosenblad sadly passed away in April this year after a yearlong battle with cancer. We are proud to honor him posthumously as K103's Educator of the Week. Justin's family will accept this honor on his behalf*

Justin Rosenblad, Former Social Studies Teacher & Boy’s Soccer Coach at Centennial High School in Gresham, Oregon

Nominated by Charles Rosenblad (father), friends & students

"My Son, who is a graduate of Concordia, has been and outstanding educator and soccer coach. He is currently experiencing brain cancer and I have been reading testimonials from his students.  I am going to paste just one of his student’s comments I found in a Facebook post she shared:

'What sad and difficult news this is for all who love Justin. Praying for a miracle in Jesus name. It's a stark reminder of how short life is. As a high school student of his and a student who ran XC same season Soccer practices ran, I can testify to the impact he's made on my life, his athletes', his colleagues', ...he truly loved what he did. There are still quotes and nuggets of advice I kept in my heart that I learned from his class. He's an exemplary educator. Thankful to have been your student and truly praying you continue to inspire and impact others in a positive way.'-Krestina Aziz

I am devastated, he was a graduate and Centennial and returned to teach and coach soccer. I’m certain his students and fellow teachers, who have been impacted, will support this nomination... I am so proud of my son and his accomplishments." -Charles Rosenblad (father)

"On behalf of Charles Rosenblad (Justin's father) and Denise Rosenblad (Justin's wife), I'm also nominating long-time friend Justin Rosenblad as Educator of the Week via the K103 website. The link is included here. He is an outstanding social studies teacher at Centennial High School, an accomplished soccer coach, brilliant artist, great father and the best friend you could have. I'm privileged to have Justin as a friend since middle school when we both played on his father's classic soccer team in the Centennial area where both of us grew up to play varsity soccer at the high school. The nomination would be timely, as Justin is in a real battle with cancer at this time." -Kris Montgomery (childhood friend)

"Justin is a well-loved teacher who always has a smile on his face and an encouraging word for his students.  He is a soccer coach and a student of world events - you can always count on him to know the most current events, have an opinion, and be able to tell you who the upcoming soccer stars in Centennial are.   He bravely took on the job of being a beta tester for new technology one year, and helped the rest of us figure out the new systems.  He has been fighting cancer for over a year, and this week his family has made the difficult decision to enter hospice.  We miss him, and feel he would be well deserving of this award." -Reed Scott-Schwalbach

"He's an amazing teacher and coach and loved by all." -Rowena Poirier

"Teacher, coach, friend and father. Justin is a deserving man." -Paula Nelson

"Caring, dedicated, role model for life: Justin Rosenblad" -DiAnna Williams

"He has dedicated his life to teaching and coaching children and it would mean so much to him. He is fighting a losing battle with cancer and is going home on hospice." -Rose Cottrill

"He is very passionate and committed to what he does. Always positive and wearing a smile on his face. He has impacted many lives in the Centennial Community." -Jessica Johnson

"Justin is an amazing teacher that shows compassion and cares deeply for all of his students and his athletes." -Kari Scheetz

Learn more about Justin Rosenblad below in our Q&A with Justin's parents:

What inspired Justin to become an educator?

When he was 8 years old he would join me and participate in the YMCA youth and Government Program which I volunteered for he was fascinated with the process, he would sit and listen to students debate measures they wrote to change Oregon. While he was a student at Centennial High School, he had some close relationships with teachers who inspired him, yearbook and civics teachers and his soccer coach. After he completed his undergraduate degree and returned to Oregon, we had a conversation about possible career direction and wanting to coach etc. I told him if I had to make a career choice it would be as a teacher. he knew he wanted to be a teacher and entered Concordia University Master of Education Program and upon completion he was hired by Centennial High School.

What did he like most about teaching?

To draw out the best and challenge each individual student to be the best they could, always believing in the student. The utilization of technology to deliver the lessons as a learning tool.

What would he have liked parents to know about his job?

Lesson Preparation and dealing with each individual student and where they are at. A great deal of working with the total teaching staff in listening concerns. Teaching is a to a large extent a team to have the student inquire into what is so and not in providing one size fits all answers. Always seeking better ways to reach the student and prepare them for life.

Share a favorite story about his years in education:

(Answered by one of Justin’s co-teachers and friend at Centennial High, Robert Havrilla)

I can't speak to his favorite story but talking to our department, our favorite story about Rosie in education, is his focus on students throughout his fight with cancer.  Justin found out about the cancer last May and throughout his 12 rounds of chemo he still worked.  He did more that work, he did what was needed.  You would see him in his class helping kids after school right up until he had an appointment.  Before he was diagnosed he and a group of students work hard towards an educational trip to Europe.  He was diagnosed with Stage 4 stomach cancer and began chemo last May, and he still led the students on that trip in June.  Regardless of the effects of chemo and physical effects, he wasn't backing out on the kids.  He was still the Head Soccer Coach here at Centennial, had a successful season, and was voted Coach of the Year in the Mount Hood Conference.  He had the weight of the world on his shoulders but it was not apparent to the kids as he was always good-natured, friendly, and helpful.  Any story that has to do with Justin in education can start there.  His dedication, and unshakable good nature.

Each week during the school year, K103 and Concordia University will honor a local educator.  Each week, our honored educator receives:

  • $103 Gift Card for Classroom School Supplies
  • The Crystal Apple Award
  • A Concordia University Continuing Education Scholarship

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