MARTINEZ, GA (WJBF) – David Owen has a knack for showing his students how really old stories are still relevant today. It’s part of what makes him such a good literature teacher.

“I think if a story is good enough, it really doesn’t matter when it was written,” Owen says. “If it gets to what it means to be human, it will always be important.”

His Lakeside students had to read Beowulf as part of their summer reading.

“Beowulf is an action hero we still see on the screen every time Marvel puts a movie out. It’s a story that’s been told for thousands of years and as far as I can tell we’re not going to quit telling it.”

Dr. Owen also teaches these students how to be good citizens long after they graduate.

“They’re going to spend most of their lives not in a classroom. And so it seems silly to focus only on that part of it. Although it’s almost all of their lives right now because they’ve been in school so long, they won’t be in school forever. And I care a lot more about who they’ll be in 20-years then I do about how the test is going to go on Friday.”

Dr. Owen says that kind of outlook, that kind of approach to teaching started when he was young. He says he was surrounded by people who thought school was important but knew it wasn’t everything.

“I think about the kind of community I want to live in,” he says. ” The kind of world I want to be a part of. If I can help people grow up to be good, caring, responsible people, that’s good for me too. It’s good for all of us.”