Hubbard teacher draws out talents of his art students | News, Sports, Jobs

HUBBARD — A local man uses his teaching

and coaching skills to help put the spotlight on others and their talents through various volunteer activities.

Josh MacMillan, 42, of Niles, who has been a Hubbard High School art teacher for 19 years and girls soccer coach for the past six, said this is the 10th year he has taken the Hubbard art students to Fairhaven School in Niles for art activity days.

He said the idea started when he wanted his students to get some opportunity interacting with others through art.

“This was a way they could spend time with students at Fairhaven School and do something nice for other people. I thought that since I was from Niles, I could call Fairhaven because they have a preschool program there. I spoke to the principal about the idea and she loved it, and we went that first year and now it has become a tradition every year for us,” MacMillan said.

Hubbard students go twice a year to Fairhaven and do various arts and crafts and other activities with the students who range in age from preschool to the older workshop students.

“We call them Hubbard Art Days. We usually do five projects such as coloring pages, beaded bracelets and activities based on an upcoming holiday such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day or Easter,” MacMillan said

He said he gives his students volunteer hours that they can include on their resumes.

”Fairhaven provides the students the moment where they get to see how lucky they are. They get to see what so many others have to face each day and what they may have to go through. They appreciate their artistic abilities and stop complaining when they have an opportunity to spend time with others and make it special for them. They get to be a teacher for a day, which benefits the students at Fairhaven,” MacMillan said.

MacMillan also donates his time as the organizer for the local scholastic art show at Youngstown State University, which showcases the work of students from Trumbull, Mahoning, Ashtabula and Columbiana counties. That event is taking place today.

He said he worked with Bill Young, who was the former event coordinator and now handles the show and its awards ceremony.

“I am an advocate for getting people’s attention. I know all these art teachers and students do. They all work so hard and deserve recognition,” he said.

MacMillan also had students volunteer their time decorating windows at the Hubbard administration building and the Shop n’ Save store for the holidays, as well as a snowplow for Ohio Department of Transportation.

“For the past two years, we have taken the windows of the city building and the plow idea and linked it to the ‘Choose Joy’ concept. That is based on a foundation started by friends of my wife and I in Canfield,” he said. “I want to bring attention to others for what they do volunteering and helping in the community.”

The 1998 Niles McKinley High School graduate earned a bachelor’s degree in art education at Youngstown State University and a master’s degree from Capella University. He also earned a certification for advanced placement art classes from Columbus College of Art Design.

MacMillan said the students enjoy being recognized for their work, whether it is for what they do in class or on the windows or snowplow.

“I always enjoyed having tasks to do. I was raised where if something needs done, you do it, The biggest thing for me is we can’t afford to lose art programs like this. This is a great avenue to promote our kids, teachers and programs,” he said.

MacMillan said he spends free time with his wife, Amber, and children, Mia, Collin and Emily. He and his children spend time in the garden at their home growing vegetables and making their own sauces.

In 2022, MacMillan was inducted into the Niles McKinley High School Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame.

He said this year, he will be involved with the Melina Michelle Edenfield Foundation with fundraising activities and events in Canfield.

“The Hubbard students took part last year and did chalk drawings. This year, we will have students do caricatures and are asking the subjects to make a donation to the foundation,” he said.

MacMillan said Melina’s mom, Michelle Edenfield, a counselor, has spoken to the Hubbard girls’ soccer team about good mental health, social media responsibility and shared the story about her daughter.

“It doesn’t matter about the drawings and paintings and soccer. My job as a teacher and coach is to give each activity a life perspective. So when they hear someone tell about losing her daughter, it teaches the students how someone can take the worst thing that can happen in their life and turn it into something positive to help others. It really inspired me and why we put ‘Choose Joy’ on snowplows and store windows,” he said. “I hope this helps to make them all better people.”

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