Ambler: Nerd, Cyclist, Dad: Jason Ambler Reaches New Heights at Hershey High School

Gina Roscoe, Reporter

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Driving 45 minutes every day. Is it worth the drive? Missing time with family. “It’s all about chasing the experience,” for Hershey High School teacher Jason Ambler.

Jason Ambler is a life sciences teacher, the chair of the Science Department, a leader in Science Olympiad, and is also apart of Science Fair. He is a teacher of Human Anatomy and Biology courses, is starting a mountain biking club at Hershey High School, and takes care of his family.

As department chair, many responsibilities come with his position. Budgets, monthly meetings, and listening to what students want are just a few things. Hard work is needed to accomplish all of these tasks. Ambler felt prepared for this role thanks to his past experiences at the Hershey Medical Center during the summers and his dedication to the science department. Being department chair is a yearly position, so each year there is a chance someone new could come aboard and take over.

Ambler helps to run many events during the year, which is partly what gave him an advantage to get his position as department chair. Science Olympiad is just one of them.

Science Olympiad is a team of students who get to create the future of science and not learn about the past. That’s why Ambler loves this program so much. He said he enjoys watching the kids come up with experiments right in from of their eyes. It’s a totally different learning experience then sitting in a classroom learning about what past scientists have figured out.

Science Fair is much like Science Olympiad. Ambler also assists in leading this program as well. Kids build their own science experiments and present them and get to experience what kids their age have created.

A huge passion of Jason’s is mountain biking. In fact, he’s working on creating a mountain biking club right here at Hershey High School. He’s really passionate about getting more kids on bikes.

Jason runs a lot of programs but he’s also a school teacher. He declared biology in college and has ran with that ever since. Currently he is teaching four classes of Human Anatomy, which is relatively new to Hershey High School, and two classes of Biology. In the past he also had the honor of teaching AP Biology. He loves to look into the future and look at ways that he can create new courses that appeal to students and hopes to do more of that soon.

Ambler said the most important thing in his life is his family. He has a seven-year-old daughter and a wife. His daughter’s school day ends at 3:15. Ambler said it is often difficult to  make the 45 minute drive home and get his daughter off the bus. Throw in the occasional after school meeting, and Ambler said he can’t always meet her right away. Due to this, Ambler and his wife pay for after school care.

Every summer their whole community (around 55 people) goes up to Raystown Lake in Huntingdon County, PA. They go up there to simply hang out and enjoy life in the wild.

Jason grew up in Mount Gretna and always had an interest in how things worked, taking things apart, flipping things over and finding what’s under them, and other adventures. Jason’s mother always said, “I would always come in the summer, about my daughters age, and have my hands behind my back and ask her, do I have flowers or a snake? And she never knew which I was about to pull out.”

Coming out of high school he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do, so his parents convinced him to go into computers. It was 1995 and computers were the new thing, but later he realized this really wasn’t for him.

After a couple of semesters went by and then he decided to declare biology. Once he was in this program, he worked his way through and picked up a lot of classes. They even started to hire him as a tutor.  

After Jason graduated, his journey began as a teacher and it has brought him to where he is today.

Jason Ambler and his colleagues attended a program about mountain biking and how to get more kids on bikes last year. Ambler has enjoyed mountain biking his entire life, so this is a dream come true. (Jason Ambler)