Teaching Profession

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January 17, 2001 1 min read
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He’s a ‘Survivor’

Apparently being just a high school teacher isn’t challenging enough for Rodger Bingham.

The 53-year-old industrial-arts teacher from Crittenden, Ky., was among the 16 adventurous people stranded Down Under for “Survivor: The Australian Outback,” which premieres this month as the new edition of the hit CBS reality show.

Rodger Bingham

Mr. Bingham, who teaches at Grant County High School in Dry Ridge, located midway between Lexington, Ky., and Cincinnati, took a leave of absence to participate in the show, but is now back in the classroom.

“You’ve just got to know Mr. Bingham,” Joyce W. Doyle, the principal of the 930-student school, said. “He’s one of a kind.”

Ms. Doyle added that the students and staff have been coping in the midst of frequent visits and calls from members of the press.

“I have to say they’ve been very polite,” she said about the media. “We’ve got children to teach, and school has to go on.”

The members of the “Survivor” group, who are vying for a prize of $1 million, roughed it in Queensland, located in the northeastern part of Australia. The area is known for drastic changes in weather and dangerous rivers.

According to the network’s “Survivor” Web site, the group faced a variety of risks, including poisonous plants and mushrooms, deadly snakes and spiders, and possible run-ins with crocodiles.

Of course, the teacher has been sworn to secrecy about who the actual “survivor” is. The winner, who is chosen by fellow contestants after most contenders have been voted off the show, is revealed during the last episode.

“We’re just waiting for the show,” Ms. Doyle said.

The first episode will be televised Sunday, Jan. 28, after the Super Bowl. The show will then move to Thursdays at 8 p.m.

—Linda Jacobson

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A version of this article appeared in the January 17, 2001 edition of Education Week

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