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RHS ECHO: Online student news

RHS ECHO: Online student news

Teacher Feature: Mr. Ellis retires

Photo+submitted+by+Zoe+Hargis.
Photo submitted by Zoe Hargis.

History and government teacher Michael Ellis has been appreciated and loved by many students throughout the years. As valued as he is, there are going to be some upcoming changes at the end of the 2023-2024 school year: Ellis has announced that he will be retiring at the end of the year. RHS students will cherish their memories of him and his class.
2023 graduate Zoe Hargis remembers Ellis as “just the best” kind of teacher. The two even sported a “Besties” shirt at the end of last school year.
“What makes Ellis special is how kind and personable he is. He genuinely cares about his students’ well-being whether it was asking how my soccer game the previous night went or if I was hungry and needed a snack,” Hargis said. “Ellis always makes sure that his students are taken care of.”
Matthew Ostertag who graduated this year recalls the same spirit of generosity from Ellis.
“I only had him for a semester class, so I only had him for a short period of time and I wish that I had him longer. He was really helpful, whether it was a test or just like going through a lesson. He always understood his students which I really liked. He always took us into consideration with any lesson plans,” Ostertag said.
Even though some students only get to experience Ellis as a teacher for a short period of time, memories from his classes live on. In fact, some memories of Ellis aren’t even connected to school work.
“So after we took our big test, I think it was like our final, we were just going through his class and we found this, like, MRE [Meals Ready to Eat] that was just in his closet. We took it out and we’re like, ‘Can we make this?’ and he said, ‘I guess,’ so we made it…We tried convincing him to eat it and he just kept saying he would not eat food out of a bag,” Ostertag said.
Connections with Ellis outside of school work have had a massive impact on his relationships with his students and also with their education.
“I think Mr. Ellis is just one, a good listener, but also a good storyteller, which I think is really important for a teacher. I think to get the story that the students are telling and then restate it in your own story is really important,” Ostertag said.
Sophomores, juniors, and seniors who have had Ellis as a teacher will remember him for years to come, but the current freshmen only got to experience Ellis for a short amount of time.
“I’ve only had Mr. Ellis one year, so I like don’t really know him, but I happen to have a really good bond with him,” freshman Hayden Scheutz said.
Ellis has been an amazing addition to RHS. He will be greatly missed, but also fondly remembered by students and staff.
“He’s just like a fun and loving teacher and he cares about you. And, even though you might not be a good student in his class, or for some reason, you could always still go back to him and he would still be there for you,” Scheutz said.

Original reporting by Belen Lane.
Editing by Keegan Kronmueller and Garrett Wilson.

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