Londonderry teacher an inspiration
Role model on wheels
By APRIL GUILMET
Sunday News Correspondent | September 21. 2013 8:35PM
Wearing his prosthetic leg, Southern New Hampshire Montessori Academy teacher James Osborne rides his bicycle to the Londonderry school almost every day from his home in Manchester. He lost his right leg and part of his left foot to frostbite in 2008. (COURTESY)
In addition to pedaling 12 miles from Manchester to Londonderry almost every weekday morning and afternoon, Osborne is gearing up for his biggest challenge yet: the Million Dollar Challenge. A 620-mile bike ride, it will take him from San Francisco to San Diego in seven days as he raises awareness of and money for the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF).
After a lengthy recovery, Osborne achieved his lifelong dream of obtaining his teaching certification and began working at the Londonderry Montessori school last winter.
Last summer, he learned how to run again, and he's also passionate about skiing.
After Osborne assured her he was fine, the child declared: "I guess it's OK because you can't feel it anyway."
"It's just kids being kids,'' he said. "At this age, they're trying to figure out the world around them."
Typically, questions about his leg come with the onset of warmer weather, when Osborne wears shorts in the classroom and many students realize for the first time that their teacher's right leg is made of titanium.
"That would be like driving to Boston eight times," he told the kids, who let out a collective gasp.
"I have a special suitcase," he told them.
Fellow teacher Julie Anderson said she plans to work with the students to update them on Osborne's progress during the ride.
Osborne will leave for California on Oct. 10, with the Million Dollar Challenge taking place from Oct. 12 to 19.
"The idea is that sports can help make you whole again," Osborne said. "And the whole premise is to get people out again and get people active again."