Mr. Culver says farewell to substitute life


Wildcat Photo

Former substitute teacher, GeralsCulver, stands with his granddaughter and DHS alumnus Maggie Kroeger at a family celebration.

Lynlee Hutchison, Editor in Chief

With many unexpected changes within the 2020-21 school year, one familiar face has not been seen within the halls of De Soto High School. The beloved substitute teacher, Mr. Culver, has taken the unprecedented times as a perfect opportunity to retire. 

Gerald Culver says the pandemic is not the main reason he decided his days of substitute teaching have come to a close, as he had a prior plan in mind. His two granddaughters, Alex Grimes and Maggie Kroeger, are former DHS graduates and had an impact on Culver’s time in substitute teaching as well. 

“Before the virus, a long time ago, I had two objectives: one, to live until I was 80, which I did; and two, stay [substitute teaching] until Maggie graduated from high school,” Culver said. “I taught [at DHS while my] older granddaughter, Alex, [was still in school] and graduated in 2010; so I said I am going to stay until both of them are gone.”

This unique experience was something Culver truly enjoyed sharing with his granddaughters. 

“It was fun getting to see them around the school, although I hardly ever got to see them in class,” Culver said. 

Not only did these experiences come with memorable moments for Culver, but the girls as well. 

“Everytime he was at the school I had at least two people come up to me and be like ‘your grandpa was my sub last hour,’” Kroeger said. 

After spending 36 years in law enforcement, Culver then put in 15 years of substitute teaching primarily within the USD 232 district. 

“When I started [subbing] in 2005, I used to substitute nearly 40 to 50 days a year at Mill Valley High School and De Soto High School. Then I later subbed at Lexington Trails Middle School and Monticello Trails Middle School as well.” Culver said. “I figured out that I ultimately enjoyed subbing for high school better. For at least the last eight years or so I only subbed at the high school [DHS].”

Convenience and relationships made within DHS is what made it easy for Culver to continually substitute teaching within the building. 

“I liked it [subbing for DHS] because it was so close, only three and a half minutes from home and the perfect day; start at 7:2 0a.m. and work until 3:05 p.m., I really had fun,” Culver said. “When I say it was really more fun than work, I mean it.”

During Culver’s extensive time within the building he made his rounds, enjoying the time he spent in a variety of different classrooms. 

“I subbed for every subject in the building during the years I had been there [DHS],” Culver said. “I actually really liked them all. I even started to like physics when Mr. Cook put on that good show, [Impractical Jokers].”

Although Culver may no longer see students within the walls of DHS, he still often gets to see the smiling faces of former students within the community. 

“When I am out of school, to this day I walk into a place like Harps and I hear ‘Mr. Culver! How are you?’ Everyone got to know me and there was never anything negative with my experience [as a sub],” Culver said.

With more free time on his hands, Culver will enjoy spending more time reading, along with watching his various favorite cop shows and sports. 

Mr. Culver will be greatly missed, but DHS students and staff are appreciative of all of his time spent within the building. 

“My last words are I appreciate everything everybody did to make it a great work atmosphere, it was all good and I truly am going to miss it,” Culver said.