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After 50 years of teaching in Springfield, Carl Locke will be retiring this week from Ozark Technical Community College. KSMU’s Matt Evans has more.
Carl Locke began his teaching career at Jarrett Junior High in 1959 as a mathematics teacher. After two years of teaching at Jarrett, Locke became the physics teacher at Hillcrest High School, where he stayed until 1973 when he joined Graff Area Voc-Tech – which became a part of OTC-- as an electrical trades instructor. He's been teaching full time at OTC for 36 years. Locke says he might be retiring, but he isn’t calling it quits just yet."I'm not calling it completely quits, we'll still be here a half day - we'll have a morning section - but enrollment is down, so we don't have enough for a whole day. I'm not interested in calling it quits," said Locke.Locke says his favorite memories come from his time as the electrical trades instructor at OTC. He says it's very rewarding seeing his students working good jobs in the electrical field. "You get some that are written off as kind of hopeless at a home school and sometimes those become some of your top people. And to see those successes, that's what has made it worthwhile," said Locke.Locke has noted some big changes in the classroom over his 50 years of teaching: the biggest being the introduction of handheld devices."One of the things, and this isn't for the better, but the cell phones and the music players have come on so strong and that does interfere a little bit," said Locke.One of his students, Philip Jones, a junior at Willard High School thinks Locke is one of the best at what he does. "He'll teach you. I mean, he'll sit down and he'll make you learn it and he won't give up on you, that's for sure," said Jones.Jones plans on going into the electrical field upon graduation from high school. Locke says he’s not looking forward to cutting back his teaching time, but he has decided that cutting back some is better than cutting back completely. For KSMU News, I’m Matt Evans.