Saying Goodbye to Elkhorn High

Long-time EHS teachers discuss the effects of leaving behind years of memories and experiences to create new ones at ENHS.


Photo by Cassy Limley

The whale wall at Elkhorn High School.

By Maddie Ellis, Editor-in-Chief

When Elkhorn North High School was first announced to be established, no one was aware of which teachers would be attending, and which teachers would remain at Elkhorn High School. Before ENHS actually opened its doors to students, it was still unknown to some who would be leaving EHS. 

While leaving behind a school can be hard for students, how devastating is it for the teachers who have taught there for years? Teresa Vann, a Civics and World Geography teacher at ENHS, taught at Elkhorn High School for 20 out of the 32 years she has been teaching. Being at one school for over half of the amount of time she has spent teaching, Vann actually made the decision to teach at the brand new high school. This is because she enjoys working with Principal Radicia, and because “new schools are fun.” 

When asked about her feelings about leaving her old room, which she taught in for 5 years, she said she doesn’t miss it. Her old room did not have any windows, but her classroom at North has an abundancy, which she loves. Vann especially misses Ms. Whalen, because their rooms were right next to each other. Along with Whalen, Vann also misses the other colleagues she worked with for most of her years at EHS; Miliken, Bang, and Bacus are a few of these people. 

Bob Wolf, a science teacher at Elkhorn North on his 36th year of teaching, taught at EHS for 22 years. A beloved teacher and coach, Wolf was assigned to teach at Elkhorn North, but had no problem with it. 

As expected of anyone, Wolf had a difficult time narrowing down just a few specific teachers he will miss, but he said his science colleagues were the most difficult to leave. At Elkhorn High, Wolf was closest to Mr. Wortman, Mr. Bacus, Mrs. Stracke, Ms. Bang, and Mr. Meyers. While one of these teachers moved to Elkhorn North High School with him, the others remain at Elkhorn High School. 

Aside from the people aspect, leaving the building itself can be difficult as well. He was very used to the environment at Elkhorn High, so moving to Elkhorn North was a new experience. “It’s too nice for me. It’s big and beautiful,” Wolf said. 

Wolf also said that he misses the whale wall, an iconic aspect of Elkhorn High. The “whale wall”, nicknamed by students and teachers over the years, near Wolf’s old classroom was a painting of a whale that students and teachers enjoyed.

Despite being at Elkhorn High School for so long, Vann said she enjoys her new room much more than her old, windowless room. Her new classroom is located on the base floor and has a great view of the student parking lot. “It’s the best room in the building,” Vann said. 

Along with leaving behind the building, the teachers that moved to North had to leave the culture and many traditions that EHS housed. Wolf said, “I’m most excited about going through the traditions and culture of EHS and keeping what was good and replacing what wasn’t.”

Transitioning from a place you have grown to know so well and made so many significant memories in, to a brand new culture and building can be bittersweet. Not only were students taken away from friends and teachers they loved, but teachers had to leave behind years of memories and their close friends and colleagues. 

Opening up a new school can come with many risks, but one significant aspect is that students and teachers have a clean slate to create new memories and traditions, which will last forever.