McCullough, Wehrman retire CFHS

Ben Olson/Staff Writer

With the end of the school year in sight so ends the teaching careers of two veteran CFHS teachers.

Art teacher Bob McCullough and special needs teacher Linda Wehrman will enter a new chapter in their lives in their oncoming retirement.

“It’s definitely time,” Wehrman said. “There are so many things I want to do, and I want to really be able to do them.”

“I’m 65 this year, and I now have Social Security and Medicare,” McCullough said.
Both would be reasons for anyone to retire, but especially when taking into account these educators’ experience.

“I started teaching in 1968 and have taught at Cedar Falls for 19 years,” Wehrman said.
“Overall, I’ve been teaching art here for 18 years,” McCullough said.

For McCullough, his past would originally suggest a different career path than he has actually taken.

“Originally, in college, I was going to be a coach and P.E. teacher. I didn’t take any art in high school because it wasn’t encouraged, much like today because of the increased core requirements in our schools. I did take art in college. I was successful and had aptitude,” McCullough said.

For Wehrman, the satisfaction of her teaching career is truly starting to settle in.
“I have taught special needs students since 1989 and have enjoyed every day.  The students have so much to offer the teacher, and I have learned so much from them. I hope that I have given them much in return,” Wehrman said.

Overall, both teachers agree the rewards throughout the years outweigh the bittersweet feelings that retirement brings.

“I really like when students come back and have pursued their interest in art. Some become teachers, designers or artists. It’s great to see positive results like that,” McCullough said.
“It is so rewarding to see the students grow and mature through the three years I have them. Once in a while one of my graduates will check in with me and tell me what they are doing with their life. I really like that,” Wehrman said.

Looking back on 37 combined years of educating at Cedar Falls, McCullough and Wehrman have learned a lot themselves and seen benefits on how their teachings influence students in their lives outside of high school.

“Art really brings together all other courses, but students aren’t necessarily conscious of it.  Art is sophisticated. Math, science, English, and other experiences all come together for the students,” McCullough said.

“I’ve seen these students trying so hard. If anything, I hope that both the students and I have learned to keep on keepin’ on. It may take a little longer, but we can do it,” Wehrman said.
Besides the initial nostalgia of retirement, enjoyment will come through in the form of more leisure time.

“I’m still going to do art. I paint and have a small pottery set up at my house. I also really like to sail and fish. I have a sailboat and plan on using it as often as I can, probably two to three times a month. I also am going to do some repairs on my house,” McCullough said.

“There are a few things a teacher can’t do, like traveling during the school year.  There are some places I’d like to see during seasonal changes.  After that, I have no definite plans. It will be nice to have options, though,” Wehrman said.

After the last day of class, both teachers will, however, miss many aspects of their job.
“I will definitely miss the interactions with the students each period. I’ll miss seeing the ‘a-ha’ moments,” Wehrman said.

“I will miss students that really enjoy art and are excited about it. Art is enjoyment, but it’s not fun because it really is a lot of work. You have to work hard to become good,” McCullough said,
” It’s been very rewarding overall for me, so I truly won’t miss it a lot. I’ve had a great teaching career, so why should I miss it when I’ve enjoyed it so much?”

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