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Standout Teacher Vanquishes Personal Demons To Build Work-Life Balance

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Justin Ashley

Justin Ashley was a star teacher at McAlpine Elementary School in Charlotte. In 2013 he won state awards naming him “Teacher of the Year” in history and social studies. But his personal life was falling apart. Ashley says he had $100 in his bank account and a worsening prescription drug addiction.

He started writing about work-life balance for teachers as a way to achieve that elusive goal for himself. In the process, he turned his life around. Now he hopes his book, “The Balanced Teacher Path: How to Teach, Live, and Be Happy,” (Free Spirit Publishing/2017) inspires other teachers to do the same. Host Frank Stasio talks with Justin Ashley about the teaching profession. Ashley now teaches social studies at Community House Middle School in Charlotte.

Jennifer Brookland is the American Homefront Project Veterans Reporting Fellow. She covers stories about the military and veterans as well as issues affecting the people and places of North Carolina.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.