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Sidney Community School District

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Teacher Spotlight: Teresa Focht


Teresa Focht

34 years of teaching Junior High and High School kids may sound like a long time, but for a teacher who cares so much about her kids, the time flew by. Retiring is a bittersweet moment, and Mrs. Teresa Focht explains that in her interview with us.

First, we asked Mrs. Focht what inspired her to go into education. “I’ve always wanted to be a teacher since I was really little. It’s just always something I’ve always wanted to do. One day I wanted to be an archeologist, but then, I wasn’t very good at remembering dates, so I went into English. My friends always hated to play with me because I always wanted to play school. So sometimes we would play hospital and I’d get tired of it, so I’d tell them that I was going to teach them how to be a doctor. I started teaching here (Sidney). I did some subbing at Fremont-Mills at first, but my first teaching job was here. I was actually hired as a part-time para originally. Then, the teacher that they hired quit and I took his place as an English teacher. I’ve been here for 34 years. Right now, I teach JH English and HS P.E.”

When asked what student made the biggest impact on her Teresa answered, “That’s a tough one. I guess one of the biggest impacts to me is seeing how some kids with their home life being as horrible as it is can still come to school - and school is a refuge for them. And to really not know who that is, that is the biggest impact to me. Students are so resilient, and that’s what I love about you guys.” She was then asked how the people around her would describe her, and she said, “They would probably describe me as silly at times, and I would say that I’m usually in a very good mood, and I try to be positive. I like to smile and I like to give hugs. I kind of think that’s what people remember the most about me. And also, my sense of humor.”

“When I retire, I plan to do some traveling, and I’m going to get on my Harley and go a few places. I’m looking forward to spending time with my husband, Carl. And to be quite honest, I’m looking forward to coming back and doing some subbing and not having to check any papers!”

Next, Teresa was asked about some of her strengths that helped make her teaching career successful. “Flexibility. I always feel that there should be a plan B in your curriculum so that if something doesn’t work, you should have another plan. And I also think with flexibility being able to stop and say, 'Ok, this isn’t working, so let’s try it another way.’ But I would say flexibility. The thing I like most about teaching are the kids. I like the kids, especially JH kids because everything is new to them. I know they’re wacky and crazy, but everything is new to them and I just think that the students are funny! I mean, they are! And they keep me young! I want the students to know that I care about them. I care what happens to them, I care about their education. I just care. 

Lastly, we asked Teresa what the greatest success she had with teaching was. “Any teacher can tell you that one of the biggest thrills you can get is when you finally see that somebody truly gets it. That the lesson that you’ve taught, kids will remember. I love when older kids come into my classroom and say that they miss it. That, to me, speaks volumes because it meant that they felt comfortable and enjoyed coming in here.”

Thank you Teresa Focht for all your years of service, hard work, and devotion to the students and staff of Sidney High School. Your happy-go-lucky and caring attitude was enormously appreciated by all!


Written by: Avery Dowling and Lauren Inman