‘I’m not going to stop:’ Nettleton High School teacher enters her 54th year

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) – Could you imagine starting a new school year over 50 times? Well, that’s the case for one Nettleton High School teacher.

“I’m going to keep coming back as long as they let me come back,” Nettleton High School teacher, Bobbie Timmerman said. “I’m not going to stop. They might kick me out of the door one day and say don’t come back.”

Nettleton High School is the home of the Raiders, but also arguably the home away from home for Timmerman.

The veteran instructor has been there for over 50 years and recalls her first year when she taught in a trailer after a 1968 tornado wiped out the Jr. High and High schools.

She adds there are several desks still in the building she helped put the legs on.

“You know at 84 I could sit at home and enjoy retirement, I guess… I don’t know what I would do,” Timmerman said.

She keeps showing up. Often the first and last teacher in the building.

Timmerman says her reward for doing it is simple.

“Watching these students start out so eager and try to maintain their enthusiasm and I guess the joy comes out of watching them 30 or 40 or 50 years down the road and seeing that they have been successful and that you played maybe just a tiny little part in that,” Timmerman said.

Several of her students, now working in the same building as her including Craig Miller who teaches radio and television just down the hall from her.

“I don’t know how she does it. Teaching is a tough profession and it wears on a person. But, she has more energy than the rest of us even til this day,” Miller said. “She has a passion for the students and that inspires me to do the same. If she can love these kids and teach them hard at her age, I sure can as well.”

Miller says even when he was a student in the ‘80s, they acknowledged her as a veteran.

In the front office, you can find Lori Williams. Williams is the records keeper and has worked at the district for 32 years.

But, she also had Timmerman for business office education.

“I had her for short-hand, I did the 10-key which is so dinosaur now, but we did that, and I actually still use it on my keyboard till this day,” Williams said.

It’s the curriculum that can still be applied today and Mrs. Timmerman says she’s in the business to teach and grow well-rounded students.

“We’re not here to play, we’re here to learn what real life is all about. When you step out of that door and graduate or they hand you that diploma, you’re not going to have that safety net of school, you’re going to have to wake up and face reality,” Timmerman said.

Through her time as an FBLA instructor and bowling coach, she says it’s her responsibility to teach work ethic and responsibility.

Timmerman says her husband, Dr. Dan Timmermann, taught at Arkansas State University for over 20 years, and between the two of them, they would get recognized throughout the entire state by hundreds of students.

Starting her 54th year, teaching over 7,500 students, countless FBLA trips, and three bowling championships, her name is etched throughout the Raider nation.

“Thank you, Mrs. Timmerman, you are a Nettleton Legend. This school would not be the same without you. You’ve done so much for Nettleton. Your influence will never end around here,” Miller said.

Her influence is driven by her faith in the future and a love that’s always been worth the effort.

“You have to be patient. You have to act like an adult, and you have to be that responsible adult for the kids. You have to believe that there is some good in every student that passes through your door and it’s my job to find that good and to bring it out,” Timmerman said.

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