Medora teacher retires: Former students share memories


Pat Bahan recently retired after 35 years as a social studies teacher at Medora Community Schools.

Former students were asked to share memories of being in his classroom and offer well-wishes for his retirement. Here’s what some of them had to say:

•“Mr. Bahan was a phenomenal teacher, and I consider myself very lucky to have had him. In 2011, I won a competition put on by the American Legion to test students’ knowledge of government. This award netted me a scholarship and a chance to attend Hoosier Boys State. Without Mr. Bahan, I’d have never learned the things that gave me that opportunity. Whenever I was presented the award, he even took the time to come to the ceremony to congratulate me. He also wrote several college recommendation letters for me, which helped me become the first in my immediate family to graduate from college. I am thankful to have had Mr. Bahan as an instructor, and I wish him a long and wonderful retirement.”

— Riley Morris, Class of 2012

•“Mr. Bahan has always been such an amazing person when it came to being a teacher and a friend. This man has helped me through so many struggles and continues to help me to this day. During my senior year, I struggled with depression and anxiety really bad. Of course, during his many years as a teacher, he noticed when a student even slightly shifted moods. This man prayed for me. He made sure I ate every day. There had even been times he had talked to the office in order to be sure I was getting the help I need. He has truly made a wonderful impact on my life, and while in school, I didn’t always see it. Being out of school now and still having a wonderful friend in my life, he isn’t someone that will easily be forgotten. Medora will miss his long lectures and his famous words ‘Did you know?’ that kicked off class or the days he would dress up in all kinds of outfits that went along with either history or a holiday. There will never be another teacher who genuinely goes to any measures to be sure their students are taken care of. Pat Bahan has left a huge mark on Medora.”

— Alexis Willey, Class of 2016

•“Bahan was instrumental in my success at Medora High School. I was in his classroom several years, and I couldn’t tell you which ones because I stopped in to speak with him daily regardless of being in his class or not. I graduated in 2005, and he is the sole reason that I was able to graduate with honors. Without him, my second-semester econ class would have prevented me from that honors diploma that I had my heart set on. He spent the extra time to get me caught up. The years that I wasn’t in his class, he would even wait outside his class and stop me to check in and see if I needed anything that he could help with. He knew how to push me and get the best out of me. He made sure to bring every scholarship he knew of to me during my senior year. He always had an ear for listening and a lecture when I needed it. He accepted nothing but my absolute best, and I can’t thank him enough for that. … The world is incomplete without teachers like Pat Bahan. He’s one of the good guys. Pat Bahan cares, and there’s no better teacher than that. He’s one that makes a difference and impacts peoples lives forever. He sure did mine.”

— Lacey Jones Holstein, Class of 2005

•“I was just telling Mr. Bahan how great teachers like him are a product of our success and our children’s success. He was very humble of his success. He took the time to teach and listen to us when were struggling with something. He even extended his teaching out through programs like the hunter’s education. If he has not heard it enough, that’s a shame because he is, was and always be one of the greatest teachers at Medora Community Schools.”

— Tracy Thompson, Class of 1989

•“Mr. Bahan was my teacher, and he also had all three of my daughters. Mr. Bahan was a great person inside the school and out. He not only taught bookwork, he taught respect and life skills that every young adult needs to succeed in life. I am glad I had the pleasure of having him as a teacher, and I am so happy to call him my friend. I am 44 years old, and I just can’t bring myself to address him as anything other than Mr. Bahan. See, it’s that respect thing he taught us.”

— Todd Baughman, Class of 1991

•“He was, in my opinion, one of the best teachers I ever had the pleasure of being taught by. I learned so much by him, not only student-wise but becoming an adult — a very caring man that always went above and beyond to care for each and every one of his students. Even after years of being out of school, he was such a positive role model for me as I went through breast cancer with uplifting encouraging words and prayers to help through the struggle. I owe you a lot, Mr. Bahan. You will always be a part of my life.”

— Kristy Guthrie, Class of 1989

•“I had Mr. Bahan as a teacher in junior high and high school. He had some unique teaching techniques. He made even history seem interesting. I used to think it was boring, but now, I find it fascinating. Both of my daughters also had him for a teacher. Any time I see him, he always says ‘hello’ and a gives a hug. He’s not just a person you know in school, he knows you outside of the classroom, as well.”

— Sara Todd, Class of 1990

•“I had many great experiences in his class and outside of class. He always helped me with anything I needed. I butt heads with him a whole lot, but somehow, he always made me smile and ended up being my favorite teacher. When my best friend, Kassi, died, he actually was a very close person and helped me get through such a rough time in my high school career. I do not think I could have done well in school at that point without his support. He recognized her and me in a speech for honors day one year about how he keeps her obituary with him every day. It just really was amazing and very touching. I actually also got pregnant my senior year, and he helped buy a pack-n-play for me and really helped contribute to me graduating early. It was incredibly generous, and he still checks in with me. He not only was an incredible teacher, he is an incredible person who deserves so much.”

— Emily Spence, Class of 2016

•“I grew up a neighbor to Pat Bahan. He and my dad were friends. They enjoyed fishing together. My dad passed away in ‘97 when I was 14. I feel like Pat kind of made it a point to make sure my twin sister and I were OK and did well in school. My uncle, Sam Spray, also taught at Medora, so it was like I had two uncles looking out for me. He was a passionate teacher, he is honest and I highly respect him. He truly cared for his students and wanted all of us to do our best not only in his class but in school and our lives.”

— Michelle Spray, Class of 2000

•“… I can sure speak for a lot of us when I say he will be greatly missed, and the ones who don’t have the opportunity to have him, I’m truly sorry because you’re missing out on lots of Jolly Ranchers and a whole lot of fun.”

— Lisa Howard, Class of 2010

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