Living through coronavirus: Hamilton teacher balances family at home, remote students

Megan Halverson remembers a conversation she had with her teenage son about the significance of the coronavirus.

Eli, 16, a sophomore at Badin High School, told his mother: “This is crazy. You know how people in your life say, ‘Remember where you were on 9/11?’ Or, ‘Remember what you were doing when the Challenger exploded?’ This is the historic moment for me.”

His mother certainly agrees.

She is 44 and the Christian service coordinator at Badin High, and she said it’s amazing how quickly the coronavirus changed all of our lives. Just last week, she said, “life was normal.”

MORE CORONAVIRUS: For Butler County teacher, ‘the unknowns out there are really troubling’

Then Gov. Mike DeWine instructed public and private schools to go to online classes, the primary election was postponed until June and bars, restaurants, theaters and other businesses were ordered to close.

“You just never know what’s around the corner,” Halverson said. “It’s so crazy. This is insane.”

Badin High School Principal Brian Pendergest called the coronavirus “an unprecedented situation.” He said Badin must remember students are the most important priority.

“We have to continue to address their education,” he told the staff at a meeting last week.

Teachers first met Friday by departments to map out curriculum priorities, then met by grade level to stay on target with the 620 students in grades 9-12 at Badin High.

All Badin students have iPads that will enable them to do online course work during this time away from the school, he said.

Badin students will be out of the building until at least April 6. Halverson said Badin teachers are working on different online platforms, but the goal remains the same: “Keep moving them forward (academically).”

MORE CORONAVIRUS: Student meals: Area schools begin handouts as kids start extended time at home

She said online instruction is different because teachers prefer “face-to-face” interaction with their students, one reason they entered the profession.

Halverson and her husband, Damon, a Hamilton attorney, have three children: Eli, Josie, 13, and Gwen, 9, seventh and fourth graders, respectively, at St. Peter in Chains in Hamilton. The two youngest have created daily schedules that carves out time for academic and extra-curriculars like track and theater.

“We are figuring it out every day,” Halverson said. “Trying to balance everything in their lives.”

The online learning probably will be the biggest challenge for the youngest because of her grade level, according to her mother. She’s too old for arts and crafts and too young to “navigate” online learning, she said.

Halverson coordinates the community volunteer efforts of the Badin students who are connected with local nonprofits. She has planned four service trips this summer to Project Manana in the Dominican Republic, Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, Solsberry Hill in Indiana and a Nazareth Farm in West Virginia.

MORE CORONAVIRUS: Middletown waitress working through uncertainty after closures

“A lot is up in the air at his point,” Halverson said.

Sophomore and juniors at Badin were scheduled to attend a service fair that featured representatives from 40 nonprofits, but that event has been cancelled.

“It’s hard to engage with the community when you can’t go anywhere,” she said.


We’re looking to profile people throughout our coverage area about how the coronavirus is impacting your daily life. If you’re interested in sharing your story about how you’re affected or adapting to the situation, call Journal-News reporter Rick McCrabb at 513-483-5216 or email

About the Author