Trivia champion teaches with twist

Emma Manzo, Reporter

It is not every day you meet someone who is a state trivia champion and describes himself as a fantasy sports god, but GHHS now has John Josephson in its midst. After dropping out of MSU law school, Josephson decided to return to GVSU to pursue his dream of teaching.

“I just thought, I need to do something that I have a passion for and I came back to teaching and that was just something that seemed like the right choice and it definitely was, it was a good choice, no regrets,” Josephson said.  

After changing directions, Josephson began his teaching career at a virtual high school in 2013. He chose to make the transition to Grand Haven to be closer to his family as well as to be part of a great school district, one that has a positive atmosphere. 

“I love being here,” Josephson said. “It’s just a great place to be and I’m really excited to be working with everybody.”

Students have grown familiar with the Government and Economics teacher, yet beyond the walls of school, the fun-loving educator takes on a new title. 

About a year ago, Josephson was invited to join a trivia league with his friends. Every week the group traveled to different venues across Michigan where they tested their knowledge against rival teams. Soon after, they found themselves winning most of their tournaments. 

“I know a lot of random stuff and that’s usually pretty helpful,” Josephson said. “I just kinda got hooked on it.” 

They climbed all the way to the top 50 teams in the state and, in January of this year, tied for first place at the state competition in Detroit, earning the title of State Trivia Champions. 

“We usually had a team that had a lot of people with very different backgrounds,” Josephson said was one of the factors that contributed to their victory. “So people who knew more like literature type stuff, people who knew more political type stuff, like myself, people who knew more sciencey stuff.” 

In his classroom, Josephson’s crazy personality and apparent collection of interesting facts radiate life into his lessons, creating an environment where students enjoy learning. 

“I think it gathers students’ attention sometimes, there is a benefit to laughter in teaching,” Josephson said. “It makes it a more laid back classroom, you feel a little bit more comfortable sometimes.” 

Josephson is dedicated to his work. He strives to make personal connections with his students and to help them understand the material.  

“I want everyone to be successful, I want to hopefully be remembered as a teacher that really cared and had a positive impact for my students,” Josephson said. “That is probably number one for me in terms of accomplishments.”