Reich retires after 34 years


Known for his active lifestyle full of mountain biking and rock climbing, along with his passion for biology, science teacher Dave Reich has been a staple at BHS over the last 34 years. This school year will be Reich’s last as he has decided to retire so he can enjoy the many things he loves to do year round. 

Although Reich has spent much of his life teaching, it was not his initial plan.

“I didn’t initially want to be a teacher, but my college fishery biology teacher told me to take a look at it. Then I went on a trip my senior year to the Florida Keys with a bunch of teachers to take a class and they all said it was a good career,” Reich said. “After I became a teacher, my dad told me that both my mom and dad were going to be teachers but didn’t end up going that way so it’s kind of a family thing because I also have several people in my family who taught like aunts and uncles.” 

Since becoming a teacher Reich has had many changes in both his personal life and career.

“I think that I realized a change in how I taught when I had kids. I was more conscious of thinking how I would want a teacher to treat my kids in class. And then moving into a new facility part way through my career too allowed me to change some things,” Reich said.

Through these changes Reich has maintained his positive and dependable attitude. History teacher and friend Andrew Sotter says Reich has been a role model as they have taught together the past three years. 

“Mr. Reich has been a pretty solid rock for me. He is always here in the morning ready to sit down and have coffee talk with me. A lot of new teachers go through many ups and downs and he has been there to level us out,” Sotter said.

These two have formed a friendship that goes beyond the school walls and have many memories together.

“My favorite memory with him is probably getting him up on the waterski in his ripe old age,” Sotter said.

Reich will be particularly missed within the science department as he serves as chair of the department.

“He will be most missed within our science department. It’s going to be very different without him here and just having him be the person to go to with those questions for his input,” chemistry teacher Nick Kvam said.

Reich’s answers and advice will be missed by many. He says there are a few lessons he has learned that he hopes students and faculty can also learn.

“Something I always encourage in my students is that I try to take my job seriously but not take myself too seriously. I also say to always prepare but be ready to change things, pull an audible sometimes,” Reich said.

Reich has had an effect on not only those in the school but the whole community.

“He will be missed at BHS, and our community is very grateful for his service and making the students at BHS feel like this is a place that is exciting to come to and a place for personal growth,” Sotter said. 

As Reich’s time at BHS comes to an end, he reflects on his beginning and all that he has gained since then.

“I remember in my interview 34 years ago the principal asked me where I saw myself in a few years and I said teaching, living in a house in the country, sitting on the porch with a dog. I’ve got everything except the dog,” Reich said. “I would like to thank the Berlin community for allowing me to have a career for the past 34 years where I felt that most days I was making a positive difference. Also my wife, family and most of the things I’ve got, I owe to being a teacher at Berlin High School.”

Reich will not be bored in his retirement as his schedule is already filling up. 

“I have no real plans to get a job or anything crazy like that. There are several bike races that I wouldn’t have been able to go to that I’m going to do now. So bike racing and rock climbing I guess. I have hotel reservations in Arkansas in January for the World Cyclocross Tournament, and I’m going to a race in Michigan in November. Climbing and biking, going for a bike ride on a nice day instead of looking out the window at school. And probably visit my kids more at college. Maybe get a puppy,” Reich said.