Taylor teacher celebrates 50 years at middle school

Coach Larry Safarik has been teaching Taylor Middle School students for 50 years.

It's quite an accomplishment to do anything for 50 years. Now imagine you're teaching teenagers, that deserves a medal.

Larry Safarik has been teaching Outdoor Recreation at Taylor Middle school for five decades.

"It's not a job, it’s really more of a hobby,” said Safarik.

He shares his knowledge of outdoor activities with eighth graders, from fishing to cooking on a tin can.

"The first 15, 20 years were the toughest part,” said Safarik.

Decades ago, Safarik started the class with just 12 boys. Now, he has about a hundred boys and girls. Some are even related to former students. 

"I've got kids of the kids, and I've even got a few of the grandkids,” said Safarik.

But these students are reeling in more lessons than you think.

"He showed us how to be responsible for what we do,” said Nate Flores.

"He's a really good person, too, he's a sweetheart,” said Angelica Cordero.

"If you're having a bad day, this is the class to make you happy,” said Yasmine Thomas.

Brittni Gola is a former student.

"He wasn't just teaching us how to hunt and fish and hit a target, he was teaching us how to be respectful, and reliable and dependable people,” said Gola.

Matthew Pokorny took the class in 1995.

"I think that's why I'm a teacher today, because of my inspirations, and his willingness to take time for a kid,” said Pokorny.

"If it wasn't for this class, I would probably be fully retired," said Safarik.

But that might be the ultimate life lesson.

"Do something you enjoy, something you want to get up and do,” said Safarik.

Which is exactly what Safarik does.

(© 2016 KVUE)


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