WHS health teacher to retire after 33 yearsWoodbury High School physical education and health teacher Bob Nickleby will retire at the end of the year after having worked in District 833 for the past 33 years.
By: Amber Kispert-Smith, Woodbury Bulletin
Woodbury High School physical education and health teacher Bob Nickleby has spent the past 33 years experiencing virtually all the district has to offer.
Nickleby will be saying goodbye to District 833 next week when he retires.
“I don’t want to be that guy who stays too long,” he said, “even though I still enjoy coming.
“Teaching has been a lot of fun for me – I’ve really enjoyed it.”
Teaching was never really something Nickleby had his sights set on after college, despite majoring in physical education and health at Gustavus Adolphus.
“When I first finished school, I wasn’t going to teach,” he said. “I was trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life.”
However, after graduation he received a job that would change his life.
“I got a coaching job at Park (High School) and I absolutely loved it,” he said.
“I’ve been around ever since,” he said.
Nickleby began teaching at Park High Schoo in 1978.
Over the years, he has bounced from school to school, primarily teaching adapted physical education.
When Nickleby came to WHS in 1999, not only did he take on both physical education and health classes, he has also taught math classes, the school’s community outreach class. He currently teaches the school’s skills in leadership class.
“I like change,” he said. “I get bored, I guess.”
Nickleby said his favorite course to teach has been health.
“The topic is stuff that is so real to the kids,” he said. “They’ll never say ‘I’m never going to use this’ like they do in most other classes.
“Kids have a lot of issues in their life right now so it’s all real pertinent to them – it’s all stuff that they’re out there learning today.”
Nickleby said he has lived his teaching career with the philosophy that students can do anything.
“Most kids can do more than they believe they can,” he said. “Kind of my thing is to get them to believe in themselves and have confidence in themselves and get ready to take on the world.”
Over the past 33 years, Nickleby said the highlights of his teaching career have been the relationships he’s developed and helping students succeed.
“I love seeing light bulbs go off when kids get it,” he said.
Nickleby said he is now ready to do some of the other things he enjoys.
“Hopefully I’ll lower my handicap, catch a couple fish, hang out with my grandchildren and travel a little,” he said. “I’ll be plenty busy.”
Nickleby gives this advice to future teachers: “Be flexible. You have to roll with the punches because you never know what’s going to happen.”