Longtime Riverbank High School instructor James Bolling retired last Friday, Dec. 18 on the last calendar day of the fall 2020 term, ending a career that has spanned 22 years and a wide variety of subjects taught.
Beginning his tenure as a Bruin staff member on Aug. 13, 1998, Bolling’s classrooms have brought many subjects to his students.
Among them is a stint as a Life Skills coach. Here he taught them typing and keyboarding skills, alcohol, drug and tobacco prevention skills, sex education, and note taking strategies, among other subjects.
He also taught Introduction to Technology, which included 26 stations, with things such as aerodynamics, pneumatics, construction, hat and T-shirt press, weather station, hydraulics, among them.
He also taught the Microsoft Office Suite and spent some time working in Special Education, as well as teaching science, English and math for all four high school grade levels.
His favorite memory from RHS? Bolling cites the closeness of the staff, and the activities held on “The Hill” behind the library.
“The camaraderie we shared was unmatched anywhere I’ve worked. We cared about each other and we cared about the kids,” Bolling said.
He added that he enjoyed his students and the lack of problems that other high schools seem to have, such as drug abuse, fighting, gangs, etc.
“While I’m sure RHS had some of that, it was very minuscule in comparison. Pretty much unnoticeable. We have had great kids! It is hard to leave them,” he noted.
When asked how he’s planning to spend his retirement, he said “My wife and I are going to purchase a fifth wheel Toy Hauler and travel around the United States of America for a time.”
The ‘Toy Hauler’ part of the unit can carry his Harley.
“We would eventually like to settle in a small community that offers great fishing, hunting and beautiful roads to ride my Harley on. We are thinking about Idaho, Montana, or Wyoming and maybe Texas,” he concluded.
Bolling’s favorite quote by a teacher is this by William Arthur Ward: “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”
Bolling wanted to extend sincere thanks to all the teachers he has worked with for the past 22-plus years: “For your friendship, camaraderie, concern and help in making me the teacher that I am today.”
His kudos also extended beyond the classroom.
“I would like to thank all the administrators I have worked under all these years for their guidance and understanding. I would also like to thank the Riverbank Unified School District for supplying me with a great job that enabled me to provide for my family,” Bolling said. “Lastly, I would like to thank all the kids from the past and present for making my job so enjoyable. I’ve had a great group of kids over the years that will provide me terrific memories that will last for the rest of my life.”