Fred Pacacha is currently in his eighth year teaching middle school Bible at Providence school, a private Christian college preparatory school in Jacksonville, Florida. In addition to teaching students, Fred serves as the chair of Providence's Bible department.
Prior to hearing about Star Wars in the Classroom, Fred found himself regularly using Star Wars references to illustrate Biblical truths to his students. As his reputation for having an affinity toward all things Star Wars came to precede him, students began bringing him all sorts of Star Wars paraphernalia to make him smile.
Fred's first encounter with the Star Wars universe transpired during that fateful summer in 1977 -- the summer before he entered third grade. His cousin had told him about this amazing new movie, "Star Wars," that she just knew he and his brother would love. Fred was a little hesitant to see the movie at first, recalling a commercial he saw with this fierce, fanged, bearlike creature roaring ominously in the thick of a laser battle. "No Freddy," his cousin assured him. "That's Chewie. He's a good guy." Taking his cousin at her word, Freddy went to the movie, and his life was never the same.
Fast forward almost 40 years, and the ripples of this historic sci-fi saga are still making their way into Fred's lessons, providing a shared language to communicate ideas of good, evil, morality and the Christian faith.
Fred spends the rare bits of spare time he does find at Tosche Station, ostensibly looking for power converters, but in reality scrounging parts for a late-model Incom T-16 Skyhopper he is restoring in his father-in-law's garage.
I selected Social Studies above to describe my subject, but more accurately I am a Bible teacher at a 1,100+ student private Christian School here in NE Florida. I find myself making Star Wars references often to help illustrate Biblical topics (example: I love the "not from a Jedi" scene between Palpatine/Sidious and Anakin Skywalker during the Mon Calamari Ballet in Episode III as an illustration of the subtle deceptive nature of the devil) I use video clips, plot examples, even props to help connect with my students. They love to bring me Star Wars swag, and I'm not ashamed to say I love to receive it.
**All information shared with permission.