RHS ECHO: Online student news

Upcoming Events
  • The RHS Speech and Debate program is hosting a showcase 6 p.m. at Ozark Actor's Theatre in Rolla.
  • The RHS theatre department is performing their fall play, "The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940" Sept. 29-Oct. 1 in the RMS Auditorium.
  • The RHS Homecoming Parade is being held 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Oct. 12 in Downtown Rolla.
  • The RHS Homecoming Dance is being held on Oct. 14.

RHS ECHO: Online student news

RHS ECHO: Online student news

Words of advice from a few RHS retirees

Words of advice from a few RHS retirees

The 2022-2023 school year brings the careers of eleven Rolla High School staff members to a close. With a combined total of about 200 years of teaching and administration in the district, these educators will be sorely missed. 

Travis Yoakum, Dr. Jim Pritchett, Jon Franks, Janice Mulia, Terry Patton, Jamie Cantrell, Karen Hammond, Shannon Engelbrecht, J. D. Smith, Elisabeth Oster, and Angie Nickels are the educators retiring at the end of the 2023 spring semester. 

Many of these retiring staff members leave RHS with a few last words of wisdom and reflection. 

Elisabeth Oster, Latin teacher
Students, I would say, Never sell yourself short on thinking that you don’t have to actually learn the material and that you can get away with just getting away or getting by. Because in the end, it just does you a disservice. One of the most important and wonderful opportunities you’ve got right now is to actually learn something, and if you don’t take that opportunity, it’s on you. If you don’t take everything seriously and learn the best you can no matter what it is, even if it’s something you think you don’t like. You’re going to find yourself in a place where you’re gonna wish you had taken the opportunity. This is a chance in a lifetime, that you’re never going to really have again, without having to pay incredible amounts of money for it. To learn and to really internalize that learning, so be aware that internalizing the learning and doing a thorough job is going to be incredibly priceless for you down the road.” 

“An incredible, incredible thanks to administration and all the colleagues who have supported me through personal and professional hard times on some level, and to be so incredibly supportive for a program that generally doesn’t get the support. I am indebted, am thankful. I just feel like these have been the best years of my professional life. And I couldn’t have done it without the support of everybody around me. So, thank you.” 

“A moment in teaching was just this past or two weeks ago on the 29th when we went to Columbia for the state convention, and my level one and level two Certamen team, and Certamen is like an academic challenge about things classical. So, mythology, history, grammar, culture and reading comprehension are all things that questions are asked about and it’s all about Latin or ancient Greek or Latin mythology, Roman mythology. So it was when both of those teams took first place. They just did an amazing job. We worked all year… they just did a beautiful job. So that was wonderful. I felt, I guess the word would be exonerated. They did too. I’m just so happy for them.” 

Janiece Mulia, Video Production teacher

“Get involved in everything…like the first year, and then after that, then you can sort of pick which [activities] you really want to invest your time in and then go for it…. Everyone’s really great here. Very supportive.”

Jamie Cantrell, Family and Consumer Sciences teacher 

“New teachers, glitter is never a good idea. Decorating your room really cute at the beginning of the year does not mean your year is gonna go smoother… They’re going to need to learn some Christian cuss words and use them periodically because we can’t use real cuss words. ‘Son of a Motherless Goat’ is my favorite one. ‘Bob Barker’ and ‘Dagnabbit’… . And on a serious note, advice for new teachers: just laugh because a lot of things are gonna be really funny. Don’t get worked up over it, be relaxed. The kids, even though they might be a pain in your butt sometimes, or for seven years, most of them turn out to be really great kids by the senior year. They grow up, they mature, so don’t take anything personal.” 

“Don’t take everything so serious, especially freshmen and sophomores. They’re going to change a whole bunch between their freshman sophomore year and their senior year. So I encourage them to not take everything so seriously and don’t pigeonhole themselves into a clique or a mindset.” 

Shannon Engelbrecht, Art teacher 

“Explore. Keep learning, try new things. Pay attention, and don’t just get addicted to your cell phones. There’s more out there than the cell phone.” 

“I have appreciated all that I have learned, I have grown to be a stronger person, and I cannot wait to try new things in my retirement years.” 

Travis Yoakum, English teacher  

“They have to be strong. Things have changed over the last few decades and they have to be strong… These phones in the classroom, that’s added a whole new dynamic. It’s something that’s something I didn’t start with. So they need to be strong.” 

“What advice would I give students? Don’t be too lost in your phones. Don’t give up so much life on your phone. Because there’s so much more out there,” said Yoakum. 

“I do remember those moments where maybe I would have a project, some activity. And of course, since I had assigned that activity, I had a thought in my head, what it should look like and to me some of the coolest moments is when I would see students’ finished product projects. And they were so much better than what I imagined. It’s like, “wow, I thought my idea was good. That trumps my idea.’ And that’s just cool.”

Terry Patton, Biology teacher 

“My favorite times would be when I do dissections, because it’s a lot of times it’s the first and only time students get to like, look inside of organisms that we’re studying. And I like to see their reactions or body parts that we look at.”

“Time will fly by. They say your kids always grow up really fast and then you’re gone, which I don’t believe, but teaching goes by really fast even if you still have a lot of years left. It’ll fly by when you get down to single numbers of years left. It really goes by fast.”

Karen Hammond, Chemistry teacher 

“I like it when students think they can’t do chemistry and then they can.”

“It’s a great day to be a bulldog.” 

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Keegan Kronmueller, Staff Reporter
Hey, I’m Keegan, but just call me Bread. I'm a junior and this is my first and a half year at ECHO as a staff reporter. I enjoy writing, listening to music, and playing games.