Family, friends and students celebrate life of an exceptional teacher PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty Randall   
Wednesday, 14 June 2017 12:07



Though he may have clashed at times with administrators over school policies, Sam Chattin could be trusted at all times to have the welfare of his legions of students first and foremost in mind.

Sam died at age 75 on Monday, June 5, in Scottsburg.

Throughout his professional life, Sam served as an excellent example of how to effectively get kids involved with the subject matter he presented. He taught for nearly 50 years, first as a teaching assistant at DePauw University in 1963, then as a biology instructor at Vincennes Lincoln High School. He was to teach that same subject at Scottsburg High School (SHS) in 1969 and continued on in the sciences at William H. English Middle School, now Scottsburg Middle School, from 1974 until he retired in 2011. He kept enthusiasm levels in his classes high, no mean feat.

Sam was born to the late Dr. Herbert and Edna McCallister Chattin in Mobile, Al., and grew up in Vincennes active - and excelling – in sports, including football. He earned a bachelor degree in zoology at DePauw, where he lettered three years in track and football. DePauw University honored him in 1998, inducting him into its Athletic Hall of Fame.

He went on to earn a master’s degree in kinesiology in 1965 from Indiana University in 1965.

He established the first football program in 1969 at SHS, and his crew of eager student athletes and dedicated coaches resulted in a 24-14 record during the four years he served as head coach.

When he moved to the middle school in 1974, Sam and more dedicated students created ARK, Animals Rehabilitating Kids, which received international recognition as the largest wildlife rehabilitation facility in Indiana at the time. Sam received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching in 1991. That honor was followed by others, all of which were given to him because of his dedication to his students and to teaching. It’s doubtful in all of his career that he ever missed a chance to emphasize a teaching principle and humane treatment for all creatures.

His family, friends, fellow teachers and former students gathered on Saturday morning, June 10, at the Collins Funeral Home in Scottsburg, not to say goodbye but to recognize and celebrate a luminous life of a good father and loving husband and a wonderful teacher whose efforts have influenced others.

Burial was in Lexington Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, contributions to the family are requested and may be arranged through the staff of the funeral home.

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