HIGH 5

High 5: Churchill Teacher Retiring After Four Decades

Jan 2, 2020, 8:46 AM | Updated: Sep 13, 2020, 10:43 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – If you thumb through the Churchill Chargers yearbooks dating back to the late 1970s, you’ll find fashion and hairstyles have changed.

However, one face remains remains constant through forty years’ worth of books: gym teacher Debra Wagner. She’s dedicated her entire career to educating the next generation.

Her former students now range in age from teenagers to people in their 50s.

“These kids have great parents who have really done a nice job of sending good kids to Churchill,” she said.

Teachers and school administrators agree that Wagner is not just an amazing teacher — she’s an amazing person, too.

“She is someone who cares about the kids and cares about the community and is just good in her soul,” said Churchill Jr. High School Principal Trent Hendricks.

To honor Wagner for her decades of educating Utahns, America First Credit Union presented her with a check for $500.

“I might buy a new pair of cross-country skis!” Wagner exclaimed.

He downtime might be short-live, though. Wagner said she’s looking forward to being a substitute teacher in order to stay close to the students during her retirement.

“They’re all great kids, and they all come to class with something different,” she said. “I could tell you something cool about every single kid here.”

“I really feel like if kids show up with good enthusiasm, my job is just to channel it,” she added. “They’re all great kids and they all have enthusiasm, and that’s the bottom line.”

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High 5: Churchill Teacher Retiring After Four Decades