After 45 years of work in education—44 of those in Boyne City—Dave Bricker is retiring.
“The kids and parents have always treated me with respect and that has made my job the best job in the universe and that has made it so easy for me to work for 45 years,” Bricker told the Boyne City Gazette. “I plan on continuing to coach track next year.”
Bricker taught fifth-graders for one year in Vassar before moving to the Boyne area.
In Boyne City, he taught mostly sixth grade as well as some seventh and eighth grade classes.
Bricker was Dean of Students for two years. He was the middle school athletic director for 25 years, coached basketball for three years, track for 44 years, and football for 43 years.
Bricker also taught CCD at St. Matthew Church for 20 years.
Bricker and his wife Robin had six girls and now are expecting their 13th grandchild.
“They will help fill any free-time I will have after retirement,” Bricker said. “All my grandchildren are living around or in Boyne.”
Bricker was born and raised in Boyne and attended college at NCMC and CMU.
“Boyne is a great place to raise a family,” he said. “My first principal, David Eldridge, told me I should stay in Vassar as he felt I would never have kids back home feel connected like the Vassar kids did,” he said. “I have been blessed with the ability to love lots of kids and it’s hard for kids to not like someone who loves them.”
Jack Cyr hired Bricker to work in Boyne City back in 1974.
“He once told me I’d be a better teacher if I learned to say no,” Bricker said. “I was raising a family, coaching three sports, working as middle school athletic director and working a second job and still living pay check to paycheck.”
He added, “Robin and my kids were extremely patient with my busy schedule and always supported my coaching. They were saints and knew I loved my job.”
Bricker said Robin was and is a super mom and covered a lot of ground as a stay-at-home mom until their daughter Annie was in school.
“She retired two months ago so she could help my daughters with the grand-kids,” Bricker said.
The longtime educator has also worked summers for 25 years as a builder and right now that will keep him busy.
“It will be extremely tough for me to not teach as I have such a strong connection to so many kids,” Bricker said. “I have told students for years that I will forever be their teacher and they will forever be my students.”
He added, “I love seeing them and am their best fan. I have always cared about my students and have had very supportive administrators making my job so rewarding.”