Parma Senior High's Bill Jeckel making a difference for students after 30 years
June 10, 2019
by Maria Tripodis
Parma Senior High School
William Jeckel, a legend around the halls of Parma Senior High school, is retiring after this school year ends.
After teaching for over 30 years, Jeckel’s teaching career is coming to a close, or at least for now.
He has taught physics, AP physics and engineering physics at Parma for 25 years. Before that, he taught at Normandy High School for two years and Shaw High School in East Cleveland for six years.
In 1978 when Jeckel graduated from Parma Senior High, he had not intended on becoming a science major.
“I thought I wanted to go into photography,” Jeckel shared. “I soon realized I hated the printing process, which was the majority of the job.”
After taking a physical geology class, Jeckel traded in his camera for rocks and transferred from Cuyahoga Community College to Kent State University.
Going into such a narrow field, he did not know what to expect after graduation.
“I got my degree in physical geology. The job market was flat for geologists, so I took the classes I needed to get my education certification. That is how I became a teacher,” Jeckel explained. “I never thought I’d be a science teacher until my senior year of college, never had any clue.”
Jeckel teaches an array of science classes, implementing his own flair when teaching. With physics being one of the more difficult courses available, making jokes and laughing with students is quite beneficial.
“Physics is a tough time,” he expressed. “If you have somebody that is staunch and stuffy, you’re not going to have fun learning. I joke around with students and they joke around with me. It keeps the class lighter.”
When discussing AP physics, he shared that students sometimes struggle in the beginning, but he always keeps encouraging them.
“Before the first quarter ends, I always have a few students that want to drop the class,” he described. “I tell them no. This class does get easier over the course of the year.”
“A lot of my students are smart so they always have gotten As easily,” Jeckel further added. “This is the first class to push them, but it’s the class that will get them ready for college.”
Jeckel genuinely enjoys his job and the impact he can have on his students.
“Being in the classroom with the students is the best part,” he shared. “When they find that ‘a-ha’ moment, the light bulb goes off and they understand.”
Although Jeckel is officially retiring, he is most likely returning next school year to teach AP physics and engineering physics classes.
Jeckel’s passion for science and teaching will always have an impact on Parma Senior High, one that won’t be forgotten.
PHOTO CAPTION: Parma Senior High School science teacher Bill Jeckel is retiring after 30 years of teaching. He is also a graduate of the school, Class of 1978.