Dick retiring after 26 years

Eric Johnsen, Staff Writer

Alan Dick was working in the construction industry when the mother of a kid on his baseball team came up to him after a game to say what a great teacher he was. A few education classes and almost 26 years later, Dick is now retiring from a prodigious career in which he began as a social studies teacher at Bachelor and ended as an iconic and beloved AP Government teacher at South.

Dick says he “always felt enthusiastic about going to work throughout his time teaching.”  So when it came a Sunday night and he found himself not looking forward to school the next day, Dick decided it was time to retire. And that’s the thing about the ever composed and thoughtful teacher, he wears his heart on his sleeve and is so genuine that all students can’t help but find themselves liking him.

But it took a little while to become as patient as he is today. According to Dick, while he worked at Batchelor he once got so frustrated by his students repeatedly looking at the time and packing up early that he took the clock off the wall and hurled it across the room into the trash can – “a perfect swish,” Dick recalls. Although his basketball skills are evident, his main sport has always been football.  

For 16 of his 26 years teaching, Dick also worked with the South football team. This time spans four different coaches, from Moriarty, to McConnell, to Wood, to Kennedy, and back to Mo Moriarty, the current coach. Dick’s attachment to the game began early in life, with a football scholarship allowing him to go to Purdue college – making him the first person in his family to do so.

So what has allowed him to move from those early days of fiery college football and clock-throwing outbursts to now being able to steer a class through highly inflammatory, polarizing issues?  According to Dick, the key is acceptance: “You gotta accept that people will get mad talking about controversial topics, but more importantly you have to accept each other’s differences if you want to get along.”  And his patience seems to pay off, as he notes with a chuckle, “if your students like you, they’ll sure behave better.”