After 40 years of dedicating his life to teaching, Science Teacher Boyd Emmel has made the decision to retire. Emmel has spent his years teaching in Oshkosh, Wisconsin and at BHS. He has taught Biology, 9th Grade Physical Science, Basic Biology and Biotechnology. He also teaches Driver’s Education and coaches the Track team.
“I thought earlier in life I would teach as long as my father did, which was for 38 years,” said Emmel. “And I’ve never gotten that ‘tired’ feeling.”
Emmel has gotten so used to the routine of being a teacher and coming to school every morning, the hardest thing for him will be stepping outside of teaching for the first time.
“I’ve been teaching for so long, it has defined who I am,” Emmel said.
Being a teacher comes quite easy to Emmel. But along with things being easy, his job comes with it’s share of hard and even very scary times.
“Everything outside of the classroom is hard. The meetings, the workshops. They take you away from focus,” said Emmel. You have to have focus and keep your goals in mind. But once you’ve done it enough, it’s easy to maintain goals and keep your focus.”
Emmel experienced a very scary moment a few years back and it is one of memories that still lurks him to this day.
“One of my students fainted while watching a janitor replace a socket. When his head hit the ground, the sound was like a bowling ball hit the floor. His head whiplashed and bounced back up and his glasses went flying across the room. He laid there unconscious, and not breathing.” said Emmel. “I checked and he still had a pulse, but I pinched his nose and as I was about to give him a breath, he started to breathe on his own. All I thought was ‘This is it. I’m never going to teach another day in my life’.”
With all of his experiences, good and bad, Emmel has learned quite a lot of lessons that helped him through his years of teaching.
“I’ve learned that kids never change. Even though people say they do, they don’t. They always stay kids. They always have to have a passion for learning to stay engaged.” said Emmel.
Emmel remembers back when he first started teaching. He felt like a young kid himself. But then as he grew up and went through different stages of his life, the students never did.
“I’m an old guy, but in some ways I’m still the young guy from 1973. But with a much different perspective,” said Emmel.
Waking up on September 3rd will be hard for Emmel. He doesn’t come back to everything that he has ever known.
“The one thing that will go through my mind is ‘Hey, this is just like any other Saturday’,” Emmel said. “But I will be glad to be away from bells. They have regulated my life.”
The easiest part for Emmel is being able to have that second cup of coffee in the morning, which is something he rarely gets to do.
Even though Emmel is retiring from teaching, he will continue to teach Drivers Education and coach track.
“Not many people have asked me questions about retiring,” said Emmel. “Some I haven’t even asked myself. But I’m looking forward to it”
Photos by Jake Willmert