For one retiring Wapakoneta High School teacher, he enjoyed working with the students on their English skills.
“For the most part, the kids were very nice,” retiring Wapakoneta retiring teacher Mike Schepp said. “They were fun to work with and deal with.”
Those are two things that 32 years boiled down to for Schepp, one of five teachers recently honored upon their retirement from the Wapakoneta City Schools district.
Schepp, who is a Lima native and still lives there, said the small town atmosphere found in Wapakoneta is special.
“Some of the teachers and colleagues I met are still some of the best friends I have today,” Schepp said.
Schepp’s last day in the district was in January of this year.
Schepp graduated from Lima Central Catholic in 1969 and The Ohio State University in 1974. After teaching for four years in the Lima City Schools district, he was hired in November 1979 as an English teacher at Blume Junior High.
He spent his first 10 years as an eighth and ninth grade English teacher there before moving to the new high school in 1989. He spent the majority of the rest of his career there as a ninth grade English teacher, with some speech and junior English classes sprinkled in.
Teaching the speech classes gave Schepp some of his best memories ofteaching in Wapakoneta.
“My kids always did very well speaking at the Rotary banquet,” Schepp said. “It was fun to see them in a formal setting and speaking in front of adults. They always did very well.”
Schepp tried most to make an impact on his students by trying to get them to believe in themselves and reach as far as they could.
“I tried to teach them that they shouldn’t sell themselves short,” Schepp said. “They were all capable of good things. I tried to get them to believe in themselves.”
Schepp’s wife, Mary Lou, is a teacher at Lima Bath. They have two daughters, one working in San Francisco and the other in Arlington, Va.
Schepp’s wife is also retiring, but they plan on staying busy.
“We like to play golf,” Schepp said. “That will be a primary activity. “We also travel quite a bit.”
Schepp still plans to broadcast local sports at WTLW TV 44, something he has been doing for 25 years. He also has landed a part-time job at a golf course.
“All of that is still going to keep us pretty busy,” Schepp said.