Ronnie Brendle started his career at Ada High School in the late 1970s as a science teacher, then left for a while to work at the local cement plant.
After leaving the cement plant, Brendle returned to work at Ada High and never looked back.
Now, he is saying goodbye to his years in education.
Earlier this year, Brendle announced that he would retire when school let out for the summer. His longtime friend, Ada High principal Charlie Golightly, also announced his retirement this year.
Earlier this month, The Ada News interviewed Brendle and Golightly about their careers, their memories of Ada High and their retirement plans. Here are questions and answers from the first of two interviews with the educators.
Golightly’s interview will be published in Friday’s edition of The Ada News.
The Ada News: Tell me a little bit about your career.
Ronnie Brendle: I started in 1976-77 as a science teacher here at Ada High School, and I left for just a little bit. Then I came back in 1980-81 school year, and I’ve been here ever since.
I’ve been a science teacher and I moved into the counselor’s office, and those are the two things I’ve done. I’ve done STUCO (Student Council) and coached 10 years. I was assistant (men’s) basketball coach, I was assistant baseball coach and I was a junior high tennis coach.
TAN: How long were you a science teacher?
RB: Eighteen years, and I’ve been a counselor very similar to that amount of time.
TAN: Which did you find the most rewarding?
RB: They’re so different. When you’re the teacher in the classroom, you have that day-to-day contact. And when you move into an office, you lose some of that day-to-day contact with the kids. Sometimes you deal with not always the good stuff; sometimes it’s the bad stuff.
So you lose a little hands-on, but at the same time, it kind of gives you some freedom you don’t have in the classroom to work with all kids instead of just the ones you have.