The Man, The Myth, The Legend: Mr. Flickinger


Autumn Luthman, Staff Editor

On March 16, the last day of third quarter, social studies teacher Mr. Steve Flickinger spent his last day before retirement teaching at WCHS.

Mr. Flickinger is a widely loved and appreciated teacher, and will be greatly missed by the students whose The Hook
lives he’s been a part of. He has been a social studies teacher at WCHS for the past 15 years, and started his career in the workforce as a police officer. “Choosing which career I love more is like choosing which kid I love best, they’re completely different, but I love both of them,” Mr. Flickinger said, “I’m very glad it worked out for me to do both careers, you don’t always get to do that, you usually have to give up one of your dreams to fulfill the other.”

Mr. Flickinger said he enjoys working with high schoolers because you can have conversations about what is going on in the world, and the students understand it. Working with this age group has taught him more about kids than he knew before. For instance, there are so many kids who carry baggage he never knew about. He’s learned to be empathetic with kids, and has learned about the impact teachers have on students. “I didn’t realize how much of an impact teachers had on kids until one year a student spoke at signing day and said he was the only one in his family to graduate” he said “from being a teacher I learned a lot, about myself, about kids and how they need role models, and I hope teachers never forget how much they can impact and mean to students.”  

The hardest part of retiring for him will be leaving the students, “You get attached to the kids and don’t want to leave them” said Mr. Flickinger. However, in his retirement, he plans to travel to many different old war grounds with his wife, something they both enjoy.

Ms. PJ Babb has been working with Mr. Flickinger all 15 years he’s been here, during which he’s had a huge impact on her: “He’s had a profound impact personally and professionally and had reminded me why I’m here; the students.” Ms. Babb believes the social studies program will be losing a lot with Mr. Flickinger’s retirement, “one asset he brings is his focus on students and learning, also his historical knowledge and storytelling ability.”

Ms. Babb talks about Mr. Flickinger and how he has had an impact on many students and teachers, one that is very clear to other teachers in the department. “Over the years we’ve taught a lot of the same students in our honors classes, often they come back and show appreciation for the impact he’s had on their lives. Kirby, Izor and I have been with him for over a decade, so this is like saying goodbye to a family member.”

Some advice Mr. Flickinger wanted to leave for teachers; “never let what’s going on in your life slip into the classroom.”