Bo-bye and Fare-Welch: Bobay and Welch retiring

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Matt Zelenin , Staff Writer

It’s not every day you see a student in South walk into one of your classes wearing a full unicorn costume with a mask.  This is one of the many memories math teacher Rhonda Welch will take with her when she retires from South. Keith Bobay, also in math and also retiring, recounted their experiences over the course of their teaching careers.

Both Welch and Bobay are retiring from teaching at South after the end of this school year.  While both seem to be pursuing different very different lifestyles after their retirement, they also share several views regarding their experiences with South’s change over the years.

Welch has taught for 19 years at South, in addition to her student teaching at Brown County Junior High.  While she came to South during a period of renovations, during which the structure of the building changed significantly, Welch feels the students have changed equally as much.  

“They’re all using their phones now,” says Welch, who plans on staying in Bloomington after her retirement.  “They didn’t have phones when I first started.”  Welch is one of many teachers who feels that technological innovations in the last 20 years have certainly had an impact on the classroom, both positively and negatively.

Bobay, however, feels there is little difference between students when he first started teaching and students now.

“I don’t feel the kids have changed,” Bobay commented, although he did admit “the level of students changes depending on what class you have.”  When asked about the influence of phones in school, Bobay replied, “Not in my classroom.”

When asked about their plans for life after retirement, Welch and Bobay provided very different answers, yet both seemed to be excited for what their futures would hold.  Welch hopes to spend more time playing in a band with her brother, which she describes as a “variety band…[that] plays in clubs like Players’ Pub.”  She will stay in Bloomington with her family.   Bobay, on the other hand, already volunteers for local organizations such as the Community Kitchen and the Shalom Center, and hopes to do more of this volunteer work with the new time he has.