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North Bend's one-wheeling coach Alan Tepper gets a new honor
After 42 years in the valley, Alan Tepper has gotten to know a few people, but not with his full name.
He is actually, "known as Coach Tepper or Mr. T to most of us," said North Bend Mayor Ken Hearing in a presentation to Tepper at the July 17 council meeting.
Hearing and the City Council honored Tepper, who retired this year after 45 years of teaching, and 38 of them in the Valley. He taught physical education, and led student activities like a jump-roping program and the beloved Panther Pride Unicycle Team for years. Earlier this year, Tepper was voted Best Teacher in the 2012 Best of the Valley reader poll.
"We want to thank him for his dedication and commitment to the children of this community, and wish him all the best," Hearing said.
Tepper spoke briefly about his career, from his first job teaching seventh-grade math to adult prison inmates in Pennsylvania, to starting at Snoqualmie Elementary School and then in 1980 to North Bend Elementary to replace then-P.E. teacher Don McConkey (now Assistant Superintendent in the school district), who moved into the classroom.
"The biggest thing that I really appreciate is, it was more than just working with students at North Bend Elementary," he said. "There were many families where it seemed I became part of the family…. and it really touched my heart."
Tepper also assured the council that "The volunteering is not over," and that he and his wife, Barbara, were already helping out at the Mount Si Food Bank.
Then he recognized some former students in the audience, and nodded to them. "Hi girls, thanks for coming," he said.
"Of course!" they answered.