The North Bend Eagle


NBC science teacher Fred Ladehoff guides students through semester test prep during the last week of his 30-year teaching career. “This is an even 30,” he said. “I thought that might be a good time to relax.”

Ladehoff teaching until final bell

by Nathan Arneal
Published 5/14/24

The teaching journey of Fred Ladehoff is almost complete, though it’s unclear if he’s aware of it.

“I’m always just into right now,” Laehoff said. “People keep asking, ‘Have you counted the days? Are you getting sad?’ I’m just trying to get through each class. That’s how I’m wired. I won’t worry about Thursday (the last day) until Thursday comes.”

Ladehoff began his teaching career during the 1994-1995 school year, making him the longest tenured teacher in the building. NBC was his first job after eight years of college– the first four at Midland, the second at UNL getting a masters in meteorology and a teaching certificate.

NBC is also his alma mater where he graduated from in 1986. It wasn’t necessarily a goal to teach in his hometown, but that’s the way it worked out. After a couple of interviews without job offers, a few offers came in as he was interviewing at North Bend.

“I remember (principal) Mr. McIntyre about halfway through,” Ladehoff said, “he looks at me and says, ‘Do you really want this job?’ I’m thinking, ‘Boy, I must not interview very well, obviously’... Once North Bend said yes, and I knew it involved some basketball, I thought, ‘I’m going to try North Bend first,’ and I never left.”

He has been teaching freshman physical science, junior chemistry and senior physics ever since. He has also coached basketball for 29 of his 30 years. The first 19 as head boys coach and the last 10 as an assistant for the girls team.

When he arrive, he fit into a very veteran staff, many of which had been teaching at NBC since the ‘70s, teachers like Rick Watson, Dan Watts, Bob Feurer, Jim Dodge, Ron Fittje, Fred Lambley and Lon Bohling. For the first half of his career, almost nobody left. Eventually, they started retiring one by one, leaving Ladehoff as one of the veterans.

“We have this discussion every two years about school culture,” Ladehoff said. “When you had those people in the building you had a certain culture because they did things a certain way, and you just did what they did. That’s just what was expected at North Bend Central. And now, every one of those people is gone. It’s weird, because I still feel young.”

In recent years, he has become one of the school’s go-to announcers, announcing track meets and the annual Homecoming coronation. When royalty candidates listed their favorite memories from high school, Ladehoff’s name and class were disproportionally mentioned.
Ladehoff said his dry sense of humor can be appealing to his students.

“I try to treat them like adults,” he said, “so we kind of banter back and forth, but I hope I never cross the line. There are times when I’ll just say, ‘Hey, what did you guys thing of that tri-tator today? That was terrible.’ Not today, but years ago, the fries were terrible for an entire semester. Not really going down to (students’) level, but kind of acting like them, relating to them, I think they appreciate it.”

Ladehoff, 57, told NBC administration that he was leaning toward retirement in October. They kept a lid on it until he felt he was sure he was making the right decision.

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