Lifelong Educator Keeps Close Ties to Campus

For Bill Lavin ’67, SUNY Oswego has been and will always be a big part of his life.

“I don’t think there’s been many years where I haven’t been on campus,” Lavin said.

Currently, Lavin is an adjunct professor for the Technology Education Department, supervising student teachers. Oswego was one of the first places that taught the industrial arts, Lavin said.

Photo of Bill Lavin

Photo: Matt Cummins

“Oswego is known all over for its [technology] programs,” Lavin said.

Lavin enjoyed working at an automobile garage part time when he attended high school. When looking through a SUNY Oswego catalog, he thought industrial arts would be a rewarding career.

He said he loved the industrial arts program and sports programs.

When Lavin started college, the liberal arts program was brand new. SUNY Oswego had just broadened its academic perspective to become an arts and sciences institution in 1962.

“At that time, you went to Oswego for teaching,” Lavin said. “I was one of 120 industrial arts student teachers. They needed teachers then.”

Lavin graduated from SUNY Oswego with a bachelor’s degree in industrial arts and immediately started working full time. He earned a master’s degree while working full time. At that time, students could be certified for principalship and supervisor instruction, which Lavin did concurrently with his master’s work. Within his first three years of finishing his undergraduate studies, Lavin had a master’s degree in teaching, and was certified to be a principal.

“I certainly got a good education at Oswego,” Lavin said.

Lavin spent 38 years teaching industrial arts and technology education at West Genesee Junior High, which later became West Genesee Middle School in Camillus, N.Y.

“I taught in the same district, the same school, even the same room for 38 years,” Lavin said.

When Lavin began teaching, he also became a baseball umpire, often traveling to SUNY Oswego to officiate college games.

As an adjunct professor for the last 12 years, Lavin has had the opportunity to reconnect with department faculty, as well as connect with student teachers.

“It gives me the opportunity to provide input for what’s happening up there,” Lavin said. “I share my experiences from almost 40 years of teaching in public schools with the student teachers, too.”

Lavin married Cheryl Luke Lavin ’87, and lives in Syracuse. He often returns to campus for the annual Technology Education conference, sponsored every fall by the School of Education.

“I’ve said many times, there’s nothing nicer than a nice day in Oswego,” Lavin said.

—Maria Pericozzi ’19

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