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Billings Skyview science teacher says goodbye with the 2019 graduating class

Posted: 3:03 PM, May 29, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-29 17:52:29-04

BILLINGS – The 2019 high school year is coming to a close, and so is the chapter of one Skyview high school teacher’s career.

After 35 years, Michael Walz is putting down his chalk.

What started as a tutoring job for a friend turned into an over three-decade career as a science teacher for Walz.

Walz was tapped to go to Billings West High School in 1984. He then made the move to Skyview in 1989 and has been there ever since.

Through his 35 years of teaching, he says one of the biggest things he has learned is that it’s important to support the parents.

“They would like a little more guidance in terms of how to handle kids, bring up kids, and how to motivate kids. We guide parents, you know, because the teacher said. And we do the best we can,” Walz told Q2.

One of his favorite things he has been able to teach students over the years is getting them to understand the world in a more holistic idea.

“Understanding how to bring in stories from other areas, and the kids look at you and go, ‘we are doing biology, not earth science.’ But earth science fits in there. We are talking about earth science but it also fits into chemistry. So it’s fun to see them go, ‘oh yeah… I get it now,’” Walz said.

The students have taught Walz a thing or two as well, he said.

“Being kind. Calming down. And trying to get the most and the best out of them. And sometimes it’s a challenge,” said Walz.

So what’s next for Walz?

“I would like to continue swim coaching. I am the swim coach here,” Walz says, “I would like to Boy Scout volunteer and support my colleagues, support my community in the best way I can.”

Reporting by Zoe Zandora for MTN News