PULASKI COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) — Zach Bales has taught English at Southwestern High School in Pulaski County for 11 years.
“I often tell students, reading and writing, that’s something that you need, that’s a talent. Those are both talents you need to have,” Bales said of the advice he gives students.
As an English teacher, one of his top priorities is promoting literacy. One of the ways he does that is with a book he wrote based on his experiences with Bigfoot, called “The Bigfooter’s Atlas.”
“It got to the point to where I realized, you know what? I ought to write some of this stuff down, as opposed to just telling the stories. And if I write it down, maybe I can start promoting literacy at our school. And that’s, kind of, the main reason I started writing in the first place. Was to give the kids something to read,” said Bales, who is this week’s WTVQ-TV ABC 36 Parent-Teacher Store Teacher of the Week.
Bigfoot goes by many different names, but along the Green River in Adair County, it’s simply known as “The Green River Monster.” Zach and his wife had their own experience on one crisp November evening.
“This thing was sniffing right outside our tent and that night, whatever it was, that animal, it bellowed, it roared down upon our tent. It was a roar, the likes I’ve never heard before in my life up to that point. I’ve never heard it since. It was the kind of, it was the kind of roar that sticks with you, that, kind of, haunts you,” Bales described.
That experience only magnified his interest in the paranormal. Now as the Paranormal Roadtripper, he continues collecting stories of the unknown.
“It’s going to be around a lot longer, probably than any of us. I don’t know. It made us realize that there’s more to this legend and maybe there’s more to it than just stories after all,” Bales said of the passion and avocation.
He hopes his interest in the paranormal can help his students find the joy in reading and writing.
“The idea that my hobby might inspire other people to write or to go out and see the world. I think that may be the main thing. One of the main takeaways from my classroom at school,” said Bales.
If you know, a teacher just like Bales, going above and beyond, and in this case into the unknown, nominate them on our website.