Work day does not end at the bell for some MHS teachers

Josie Lorenz | The Chronicle

When Mason High School (MHS) teachers go home after school, it does not mean their work day is complete.

Even though a teacher’s schedule is packed with instruction, planning, professional development and refining their craft, many find time to explore their other various interests. For some, garnering a ‘side hustle’ or a second job outside of teaching serves as another way to gratify their many passions and apply other skill sets outside the typical role of instruction.

Social studies teacher Bud Strudthoff owns and runs his own ice cream sandwich shop, Cincy Sammys, in which he bakes batches of cookies to pair with ice cream from a local dairy farm. Besides being a dedicated teacher, Strudthoff said that he enjoys the interactions with people in a consumer setting because it allows him to be involved outside of his C309 classroom.

“I like quick exchanges, and getting involved with other people,” Strudthoff said. “There’s the component of my business that gives to local animal shelters, so it’s an opportunity to give back to the community as well.”

In March 2020, during the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown, Strudthoff found grounding in tough times through his new passion project.

“This whole thing started as an idea about two years ago and then when everything shut down,” Strudthoff said. “I just turned to baking cookies every day as a coping mechanism. I would deliver cookies around our neighborhood, then I pieced the idea of that with making ice cream sandwiches.”

Starting from scratch, Strudthoff has built his way up and continues to have high hopes for the future of the business. He hopes to increase the traction surrounding the name of Cincy Sammys around the Cincinnati area through finding new opportunities. He said he has plans to open a physical shop soon, displaying all of his work.

“It started low stakes with a tent and a little portable freezer and I am now transitioning from that little mobile food service operation into a brick-and-mortar store in downtown Mason,” Strudoff said. “I can open up the actual store, hopefully, this winter.”

Also involved in the food industry, French teacher Jaime Pritchard said that being involved in her family’s restaurant, Rodi Italian, has allowed her to use her English degree to help with the building of the menus and visual layout of documents.
“It’s fun for me to participate in because I don’t feel like it’s a job or something that takes up a lot of my time,” Pritchard said. “It’s something I get to do when I can, not really something that I have to do because I’m financially involved in the restaurant.”

Pritchard said that much of the work and development of Rodi Italian came from her closest family members doing work behind the scenes. Her sister opened the restaurant, while Pritchard, her siblings and her parents were all “investors,” and therefore, “part-owners of the restaurant.” Pritchard said that most of her work came even before the place opened.
“I am proud of the company I created and all of the people I have helped,” Weiseman said. “I look forward to continuing my services for years to come.”

Though food and family are always a priority, Pritchard and Rodi Italian are contributing to their hometown, Loveland Ohio. She grew up in Loveland and it has always held a salient role in her heart. She is happy that she can give back to her community in the form of a family restaurant.

“Most of my loved ones live in Loveland,” Pritchard said. “We’re a small community and we want to support each other. [my family] hopes it can increase traffic and, in turn, help our schools and community. It was an investment in a community we love.”

Computer-Aided Design teacher Dave Weiseman worked for a few other computer repair companies before deciding to begin his own, titled Precision Computer Service (PCS). While still pursuing the passion of teaching about the world of computers, his second job allows him to use the skills that he developed a love for during his childhood.

“I have always had an interest in electronics,” Weiseman said. “Even when I was young, I enjoyed disassembling electronics and putting things back together, so this was an exciting adventure.”

When he has time outside of the school week, Weiseman has been able to use his services to help others, finding joy in his work. Being the sole owner of PCS provides him with an extra challenge, but he said he finds time for his work.

“The only way the business may interfere is that I need to schedule service calls after regular school hours,” Weiseman said.

“I do occasionally get behind on service calls since there are only so many hours each day I can work at the business.”
Weisman said he takes pride in his work and what it’s done for his community, wanting to continue the job even while he teaches full-time.

“I am proud of the company I created and all of the people I have helped,”