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Teacher Thursday: Pamela Foerch

By Lisa Jahjah

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As Pamela Foerch wraps up her last period class she rushes over to the gymnastics gym to open up the doors for the girls. Not only has she been teaching here for so many years, but she has also been the girls gymnastics coach. After 28 long years of teaching at Niles West, the Physical Welfare department will deeply miss Foerch.

Teaching for 28 years is a long time, so Foerch has made sure to keep herself busy by being involved with the girls gymnastics team.

“I’ll miss gymnastics, the team is like my second family but I’m sure I’ll be back to help out or just visit,” Foerch said.

Even before coming to West, Foerch coached at many different schools or clubs so the 28 years she taught here don’t even come close especially since she’s been coaching since she was 14 old.

“I coached a year at Niles North, a year at Evanston Township, a year at Thornwood high school, Maria High school and five years with the Chicago park district,” Foerch said.

Foerchs favorite part about being a teacher is the students and seeing how they improve, their hard work and dedication.

“What I’ll miss the most is definitely the students, just their drive to enjoy sports, just to be around them is a lot of fun to have them in class and to get to know them,” Foerch said.

Not only does Foerch care so much about her students and have so much respect for them, but her students feel the same way about her.

“I love Mrs. Foerch and I’m just so thankful that she’s retiring as I’m graduating because I can’t imagine going on with high school without her being around,” senior Kathy Marma said.

Retiring will be a fresh start for Foerch, and a chance for her to do different things in her life that she hasn’t done before.

“I’ve been teaching and coaching for over twenty eight years so I just want to travel, volunteer, and see what else is in there in life,” Foerch said.

Foerch has already been think about places she would want to travel to or where she’ll be volunteering like Wright-Way Rescue and Shriner’s Hospital for Children.

Last year, Foerchs husband Steve Foerch retired, so having to come to school everyday without him and seeing him get to relax has been a struggle, but luckily her students have made it easier for to get through the year. Foerch doesn’t have a specific favorite moment or memory because every moment in these 28 years is important to her.

Foerch has not just been a regular gym teacher, but has taught many of the special needs students here. Not once has Foerch treated them any different from her other students. She continues to treat them and everyone else around her with respect and has made an impact on these students lives.

Thank you for everything you’ve done here at Niles West, whether you spend your retirement traveling or volunteering or whatever it is you decide to do I’m confident that you will make a difference just like you have at Niles West.

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