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The Pony Express

The student news site of Stillwater Area High School

The Pony Express

The student news site of Stillwater Area High School

The Pony Express

Dan Wagner celebrates years of commitment to education

Photo by Tyson Blazer
Substitute teacher Dan Wagner’s 40 years in education have impacted many students and staff. His positive attitude and work ethic is irreplaceable.

Dan Wagner, a teacher who has had an impressive 40-year teaching career, has left a lasting impact on the lives of countless students.

Wagner began his teaching career in North Carolina after graduating from Duke University and later taught in both Wisconsin and Minnesota. His diverse background includes not only teaching, but also coaching basketball a sport that he is really passionate about. Wagner played an important role in establishing the Eastridge basketball program.

Having retired from teaching English in 2022, Wagner chose to return to the classroom as a substitute teacher. His decision to be a substitute teacher was not only driven by his love for teaching,  but also by the flexibility it offers. As an avid volleyball referee who travels across the country for tournaments, subbing allows Wagner to pick and choose the days he works.

His years of experience also makes him an expert at being able to adapt to different classroom environments.

“I kind of know how things are going in each classroom. Since I’m old, I’ve been through all of this. There’s almost nothing a student can do or say to me that’s going to surprise or upset me,” Wagner said.

If you do what you love, you never really work.

— Dan Wagner

Wagner’s dedication to education goes beyond the classroom. Last year, he accepted a long-term subbing position in English, showcasing his commitment to helping students even after retirement.

Wagner also wants to be a positive influence within the school community,

“I try to say hello to people. I try to be positive. I play a stupid song every Friday when I sub. People smile at that stuff. Makes people smile. I know it’s dumb but it’s better to be around positivity than negativity,” Wagner said.

In reflecting on his motto in life, Wagner shared, “If you do what you love, you never really work.”

With 40 years of teaching, he expresses gratitude for having fun teaching, coaching, refereeing, and playing golf. Wagner believes in treating people well, “people are people, and if you treat people well, they’ll treat you well,” Wagner said.

Junior Ron Bruflodt said that Wagner is an easy going and laid back substitute teacher to have in class, “Wagner is a laid-back and fun teacher, I love having him as a sub.”

Wagner’s impact on the community and the classroom showcases his experience from decades of teaching and coaching. His commitment to creating a positive and supportive environment for students remains one of his favorite things about education.

The flexibility offered by substitute teaching allows Wagner to balance his love for teaching and his other passions, such as refereeing volleyball tournaments across the country.

His story serves as an inspiration within the school and reminding the community of the impact that a dedicated and passionate educator can have on the lives of those they teach.

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About the Contributor
Tyson Blazer, Copy Editor
Hi my name is Tyson Blazer.I am a junior this year and I am 16 years old.This year I am a copy editor for the Pony Express. I like to bowl, play basketball and play video games in my spare time. This year I am looking forward to being on the newspaper staff and being able to have an opportunity like this.  

Comments (2)

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  • B

    BriFeb 6, 2024 at 9:01 am

    I like how you talked a lot about Mr.Wagner’s background and emphasized him making an impact in a lot of different schools; it gives us as readers an insight on what kind of person he is and how committed he is to his job.

  • S

    Shea DenningFeb 6, 2024 at 7:53 am

    Nicely done! “His positive attitude and work ethic is irreplaceable” I have never had this teacher but i’ve only had good positive conversations with him in the halls. Great educator and person!