The North Bend Eagle

  Bob FeurerBob Feurer talks with student Kyle Kavan. Feurer, the 2011 Nebraska Teacher of the Year, is retiring after a 35-year career at NBC.

Three teachers close book on NBC careers

by Mary Le Arneal
Published 5/14/14

North Bend Central Public Schools will have some big shoes to fill as it will lose three staff members with a total of 104.5 years of teaching. Bob Feurer, Jeff Jacob and Jane Mehaffey will finish their teaching careers at the end of this school year.

Bob Feurer came to North Bend when he was a fresh college graduate in 1979. He is retiring this year after 35 years, with his entire teaching career spent at North Bend Central Junior-Senior High School.

Feurer, 59, said early in his career he set a goal that he carried around in his wallet that said to “make North Bend Central the most innovative school of its size in Nebraska.”

Jeff JacobJeff Jacob previews a test with students.

Jane MehaffeyJane Mehaffey works with her students at telling time.

Feurer, who was named Nebraska Teacher of the Year in 2011, has the awards to show for his years of innovation at NBC. But the regiments of teaching science classes are being left behind.

When asked what he will miss the least with retirement he resoundingly said, “Grading papers.”

Jeff Jacob has taught at NBC 13 years, plus 22 years elsewhere, giving him a total of 35 teaching years. Some of the best things he liked about NBC was the small school atmosphere and watching students succeed.

Jane Mehaffey is retiring after 34 1/2 years in the North Bend School system. She has been teaching third grade for the past eight years. They all leave with happy and sad thoughts.

All three of the teachers retiring said they will miss interaction with the students the most. They all plan to substitute teach on occasion.

Jacob, 56, said he enjoyed seeing students achieve their potential according to their own abilities

Feurer said one think he always looked forward to each year was listening to “War of the Worlds” as an introduction to the study of life on the planet.
Feurer is running for the school board of education and plans to become a certified trainer in “Habits of Mind,” a program that helps people develop the 16 characteristics that all intelligent people have in common to help them in life skills. His brother runs the family farm and Feurer plans to help out some there also.

Jacobs said he will keep busy with lawn and yard work, travel, see his kids more, and do some extra running and biking with the cycling group in Fremont.

Feurer said one of his best memories of NBC are the students who have gone on the become successful adults.

Mehaffey, 60, has spent all but a few years in the North Bend school system. She taught in the Tower School, Cotterell, Morse Bluff Elementary and for the last 12 years at NBE. Mehaffey has been a library media specialist, music and P.E. teacher, classroom teacher for kindergarten, fourth, fifth, and third grades.

Mehaffey has many fond memories of her years teaching, but counts watching the students grow from the beginning to the end of a school year among them.
Mehaffey agrees with Feurer in that she will not miss correcting papers, doing report cards, and organizing projects almost every weeknight, weekend, and often in the middle of the night or wee hours of the morning.

Mehaffey may look for other job opportunities, but her plans are mostly centered around her family and home.

When asked what was the biggest plus they think the North Bend schools have, each was very complimentary of the school system.

“High expectations for students that was our culture from it’s inception,” Feurer said. “That first board of education and Mr. Masten and Nelson put together a great staff and grew them in a way that they adopted and we grew into when we signed on.”

Jacobs said “A caring staff and community who both value a quality education” is the biggest plus he sees for NBCPS.

“A community and dedicated workforce of school employees that are composed of a large group of individuals who go above and beyond to see that we truly have one of the best educational systems, bar none, in the state of Nebraska,” Mehaffey said. “And since Nebraska is one of the top states in the nation, we ARE one of the best in the entire country.”

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