Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson is retiring from Arlington Public Schools after 38 years with the school system.

For 38 years, Steve Johnson has taught and coached the students of Arlington Public Schools.

He's seen the facilities change with the number of gyms, but saw other things stay the same.

"I'm so lucky," he said. "It's the best job I could have had."

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson is retiring from Arlington Public Schools after 38 years with the school system. He taught sixth-grade for 20 years and hung the class pictures on his wall.

Johnson got the job after graduating from Dana College, where he earned a double major in physical education and elementary education. He started substitute teaching in Arlington and Fort Calhoun, earning an education certificate, and an opening in sixth grade at Arlington when it became available.

He taught 20 classes of sixth-graders and keeps a wall of fame of class pictures.

He remembers having gym class in the locker room or hallways when there was not an available gym. Now, his career ends with gym classes running online.

"It's not the way I wanted it to end," he said. "I understand it, but I feel sorry for the seniors."

Johnson said he taught around 200 students a day and probably walked 10,000 steps between health class classroom and the gym. He said health class, which he taught for the past six years, was a good addition to the curriculum.

Johnson tried to teach sportsmanship to his students.

"It's easy to win, but during my classes we don’t really keep score," he said.

He said routines have changed over the years.

"The main thing is to get them in here and get them moving," he said. "Monday is run day. They run for a time according to their grade."

In addition to gym and sixth grade, Johnson coached track for 38 years.

"It's my first year without it," he said.

He coached football and junior high basketball, which only happened because they needed someone, saying they didn't get a lot out of him.

"We have great administration here," Johnson said. "They’re so concerned about their kids and their actions are what is best for kids. That’s what I appreciate."

Johnson will be staying in Harlan, Iowa, while his wife, Lynn, works as superintendent. He hopes to substitute teach when he can.

Jake Eckhardt, who teaches sixth grade at Arlington, will take Johnson's place next year.

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