By Brett Shearer
For the past 42 years, Mr. Gary Seidner has seen principals and teachers come and go, and watched more classes graduate than most of his fellow educators. Now it is time we prepare to say “Goodbye” to such a dedicated educator at the end of this school year.
“I’ll miss the students. It’s a really good feeling to know that you’ve helped somebody understand something that they couldn’t understand,” he said.
Mr. Seidner began his time here at Delta not as a physics and calculus teacher, but as a student. He was in the class of 1971, the first class in the history of the school to attend all four years at Delta High School. He didn’t walk these halls, though. He attended high school in an entirely different building (near the current site of Royerton Elementary School), and started working at Delta after the new school building opened.
“The strange part was that there were (still) some teachers that I had,” he said.
Mr. Seidner has plans for retirement at the end of the school year, however, as he hopes to dedicate himself more to his family and his farm, and even leave time for traveling.
“I have a son that recently moved to the state of Washington, and we’re planning on taking a week of driving out there … seeing sights like Mount Rushmore and the Badlands and things like that,” he said.
Mr. Seidner has a close friend here at Delta. Earth-Space and Biology teacher Mr. Brian Brewer has been working here since 1991, and ever since he and Mr. Seidner have been close.
“He’s been a great role model as an educator, and as a father, and as a husband to his wife, I mean, everything about Mr. Seidner is a stand-up person,” Brewer said. “He’s a very patient person, he can sit down and work with just about anybody, he doesn’t hesitate, he puts it all in there, he doesn’t do things halfway.”
Similarly sentimental is Ashleigh Brelage, a senior currently taking Physics with Mr. Seidner. She first had Mr. Seidner in eighth grade, doing half-days between the middle and high schools. Her brothers, Nathan and Cody Brelage, also had Mr. Seidner when they attended high school.
Nathan was valedictorian of the class of 2017 and Cody was valedictorian of the class of 2019.
“I have a memory of being told a story about my brother, Nathan. When he took Physics he failed a quiz, and none of the other students failed, so Mr. Seidner brought in some cookies to celebrate my brother failing a quiz,” Ashleigh said.
“I’m glad that I’ll be leaving at the same time he is, so I won’t have to have a school year without him,” she added. “… It’s nice to know someone who has an interest in and knows what he’s teaching.”
With COVID on its second wave, Mr. Seidner may have picked the best year to retire. After all, no matter how much we enjoy what we do, we can’t do it forever, and, sometimes, you need to sit down, and enjoy all that you’ve built.
“I’ll be working on my farm, and doing some traveling. Like I said, we’re planning on going to the state of Washington, and maybe going to Alaska. My wife’s always wanted to go to Alaska. And take care of the grandkids.”