RHS ECHO: Online student news

Upcoming Events
  • Finals schedule at this link: bit.ly/finalschedule23-24
  • The last day of school is Tuesday, May 21, dismissal at 1:00.

RHS ECHO: Online student news

RHS ECHO: Online student news

Teacher Feature: Mrs. Heimbaugh retires

Teacher+Feature%3A+Mrs.+Heimbaugh+retires
Garrett Wilson

Rolla High School is seeing several teachers through to retirement this year. One of those teachers is English teacher Debra Heimbaugh. Heimbaugh has been teaching in the Rolla district for 18 years, but she has been teaching for a total of 30 years.
“I’ve lived in Rolla ever since I got married, but I had taught at various school districts in Cuba, Owensville, and St. James, and I just always wanted to work where I lived, instead of having to travel to work,” Heimbaugh said.
Heimbaugh has enjoyed teaching kids her whole career; working with them and watching them understand and enjoy English has been a highlight of her work.
“My favorite part is when kids write something good and feel good about it. Or when that light bulb goes off, and they think ‘oh, well, I am a good writer. I am good at this’…I like what I do and I like kids.There are aspects of education that change from year to year and parts of it that teachers like and dislike, I think as a whole, but I like kids and I like the people I work with,” Heimbaugh said.
A rewarding part of teaching for Heimbaugh is seeing how her students develop and grow, long past the years of when she taught them, and being able to see graduated students flourish in their adult life.
“Kids that I’ve had in class years ago, when I see them at the grocery store,…they’re like, “Hi, how are you?” And they’ve got little kids of their own and then they say something, you know, that they liked having you as a teacher… I think that’s what really sticks with me,” Heimbaugh said.
A big part of the excitement around retirement is the plans for afterwards. What will retirees do with this free time? Will they travel? Spend time with family? Even with an enjoyable career such as teaching, it can still impede a person’s life, and once they retire, there’s a lot of opportunities available and many ways to spend the rest of their life.
“I don’t really have a plan. I’ve had some people approach me about doing something in education after I retire. My husband is gonna start kind of an independent business and he wants me to help him with that. So I have some options, but really, that’s the great thing about retirement…I want to do some traveling and some things. We want to do some remodeling so you know, I don’t really have any definite plans,” Heimbaugh said.
Heimbaugh’s classroom is right next door to English teacher Kathryn Nilges for two years now. They have formed a close bond working right beside each other and working in the same department.
“I’m so happy and excited for Mrs. Heimbaugh (of course), but sad to see her go! I’ll truly miss having her as my classroom neighbor—eating snacks, sharing ideas, and chatting before and after school, between classes, and during our plan time. Next year just won’t feel the same without her. Her retirement is well-deserved, and I wish her all the happiness, freedom, and relaxation possible as she heads into this next chapter,” Nilges stated.
Another English teacher, Star Hargis is proud to celebrate Heimbaugh’s retirement and is happy to see her off.
“I hope she experiences many days filled with laughter, grandbabies, and sleeping in. I picture her on the first day of school next year, sitting out at her pool, eating some chocolate treats and smiling as she realizes that we are in the midst of stress and anxiety and she is worrying about her tan. That thought fills me with joy,” Hargis said.
Heimbaugh has impacted many students here at RHS in her 18 years with us. Freshman Madeleine Kitchen is currently one of Heimbaugh’s students.
“She’s a very great teacher…and she would randomly pull food out of her cabinets and give it to us,” Kitchen said. “I just really like Mrs. Heimbaugh, guys.”

More to Discover
About the Contributors
Catence McPherson
Catence McPherson, Opinion Editor
Hello! My name is Catence, or Catie. This is my second year as an ECHO reporter. I am also involved in FIDO, band, and drama. When I have free time from school I like spending time with nature, and my many animals.
Garrett Wilson
Garrett Wilson, Photography Editor
Hi! My name is Garrett Wilson and I’m a junior. This is my second year as part of the ECHO staff. I enjoy playing video games and watching TV shows.