By Carolyn Lee
The Imperial Republican
Just a few short years after they graduated from Chase County Schools (CCS), two young men are back, this time on the other side of the desk.
Kyle Bottom and Jonathan Hess, both 2011 CCS graduates, have been substitute teaching this semester.
Hess leaves Friday for college study in Czechoslovakia, while Bottom will begin long-term substitute teaching in Scottsbluff in two weeks.
Bottom graduated from York College in York in December with a Bachelor of Science degree in secondary education with an English endorsement.
Hess will graduate next December from the University of Nebraska-Kearney (UNK) with a degree in psychology.
Bottom has been substituting “all over the high school. It’s been fun, a little goofy with the older students because we all but went to school together, but it’s been good.”
Hess has been teaching ag classes and some English classes.
He decided to substitute teach until his Europe trip because he could make money for his trip, and because he was told the high school needed substitutes.
He has also taught a research class at UNK.
To be a substitute teacher, a person needs 60 college credits and a substitute teaching license. Hess can only teach for 40 days.
That’s all right, because his UNK-sponsored trip to the Czech Republic will be for the next three months, learning the culture and language. The trip doesn’t apply toward his degree.
Bottom will be teaching middle school English at Buffs Middle School. He will also be searching for a permanent teaching position.
Hess said it was a “little odd” at first being back at CCS, because this year’s seniors were in eighth grade when he was a senior. Also, because mother Carol Hess is a teacher, he used to hang out with other teachers at school. Now a lot of those familiar faces are gone and new teachers are in those positions.
Both 22-year olds agreed that having their parents as teachers at the school hasn’t been unusual, because they were used to it before. However, Hess was an aide to his mother one day, so “she was the boss.”
However, they also agreed that it has been a bit of a challenge to gain students’ respect as a teacher because they have “known them outside of school.”
Bottom said he chose the education field not because of his parents, teachers Mark and Renae Bottom, but because it’s a challenge. “Education changes so much. You have to continue to grow.”
He added that good teachers at CCS were a positive influence in his life.
Hess, who won’t be pursuing education as a profession, said he might obtain a graduate degree, or work for a research-based company in marketing.