Jamie Lader: Beachwood Has Only Gotten Better

This article is the second in a series of profiles of BHS alumni who have returned as staff members


Lader taught at Cleveland Heights for four years before being hired at BHS. Photo by Joe Spero

In 1992, Jamie Lader walked the BHS hallways as a graduating senior. Now he walks them as a teacher.

Lader reflects on his years as a high school student. He says they had more freedom than students have now.

“[We] had a lot of free periods and campus was still open,” he said.

Lader recalls that his friends would often go out to lunch and hang out.

“If it was a nice day we would even go play football on the soccer fields,” he added.

On the other hand, Lader says the high school had fewer clubs and opportunities for students to get involved.

He was on the track team and the cross country team.

Lader attended University of Cincinnati where he had multiple majors. Originally, he intended to be an engineering major but says that didn’t work out. He then decided to go to Ohio University.

“Ultimately, after several major changes, I majored in education,” Lader said.

When I was [a BHS student], there was an in crowd and an out crowd, no in between. Now there are a lot of different types of social groups.

— Jamie Lader

Before coming back to Beachwood, he taught at Cleveland Heights High School for four years. Lader was drawn back to Beachwood when they were in search for a cross country coach.

At the same time, a science teacher was going on maternity leave and Lader ran into Joe Burwell, who was then a BHS science teacher and soccer coach. One thing lead to another and the temporary position became his new reality.

Lader started teaching at Beachwood eighteen years ago.

“It was very strange because some of [my own] teachers were still there,” he said. Getting in the habit of calling his old teachers by their first name was strange at first, but now is second nature.

“[I saw] things from a different perspective and [saw] how wide open [Beachwood was] at the time…with very few rules,” Lader said. “Now from a teacher’s perspective it’s very laid back.”

“BHS… [is] in a better place,” he added. “It’s a much more accepting student body,”  “When I was there, there was an in crowd and an out crowd, no in between,” he said. “Now there are a lot of different types of social groups.”

Though he admits BHS has improved a great deal since he was a student, Lader recognizes that we have a long way to go.

“…[R]egardless of who you are, if you’re a student at Beachwood you can find friends who are more like you,” he said.

When Lader was a student here, he never felt accepted, but now he thinks it would be different.

This year, Lader teaches AP Biology and Earth Science. He is also the head cross country coach and an assistant track coach.

Junior Joe Spero was in Lader’s biology class last year and is also a member of the cross country and track teams.

“[Lader] brings excitement to the classroom… students really enjoy his class,” Spero said.

Lader is the most joyful when his students and athletes put in their best effort because he says  that is all he can ever ask for.