Alumni News

John Bemis (A.B.Ed. '95 and M.Ed. '03) named News & Observer's 'Tar Heel of the Week'

John Bemis (A.B.Ed. ’95 and M.Ed. ’03), a teacher at Cameron Park Elementary School in Hillsborough and a children’s book author, has been named “Tar Heel of the Week” by The News & Observer of Raleigh.

The newspaper profiled Bemis in its Sunday, March 18, edition, describing his many talents, being an accomplished teacher, musician and now an award-winning children’s author.

Bemis returned to teaching this year after taking three years off to complete his “Clockwork Dark” trilogy. The series of fantasy books was written for fourth- to eighth-graders. His first book, “The Nine Pound Hammer,” has won several awards.

“Teaching elementary school kids made me think about how powerful books are for people that age,” Bemis told the N&O. “When you read a book at that age, it can feel life-changing. That made me excited to write for them.”

Bemis was a Teaching Fellow at Carolina. He has taught for 12 years, including in Chatham and Durham counties. At Cameron Park he teaches academically gifted students.

Bemis’s next book, which is due out in May, will be a futuristic “Jungle Book, the newspaper said, in which a cast of animal characters encounters a human boy who lands in Earth in a spaceship crash.