Mr.West Says His Goodbyes

The longest teaching teacher retires from River City after 30 years.


River City High School has an extensive history ever since 1979 when it first went into service. It’s been a place of many memories and exciting events over the years it’s been in service. People have come and go every year and the school overall has received many drastic changes, from the new electrical gates, to even an entire new campus in 2009.

This year we are losing an amazing, long time veteran in the education field Jon West, a Pre-Calculus and Math 3 teacher here at River City High School. Mr. West has been teaching at River City for 30 years now and is finally retiring after this school year.

“This is my 30th year in this district”, says West. “I also taught three years at other schools. I taught part-time at Vintage High School in Napa and a Christian school in Chico It was called Chico Christian”.

Currently Mr. West has been teaching the longest at River City. After this year it’ll be Coach Brill but for now Mr. West holds the record.

Over the years, West explains his teaching experience as “exciting”. He’s seen many questionable things happen throughout his years of teaching.

West states, “Well at the old River City there was no air conditioning so we had to leave some windows and doors open. I’ve had some dogs walk into the classroom. I had a bird fly into the classroom once [too]”. He also adds proudly, “I remember coaching Malcolm Floyd who retired from the San Diego Chargers”.

He wanted to become a teacher because he always wanted to be a coach.

West says, “Well I always wanted to be a coach. So that’s why went to teaching I because they go hand in hand. I always expected to be a teacher”.

Mr. West has also made a lot of friendships and good memories with students and staff here at River City. One of his good friends is the principal’s assistant, Mrs. Joan Smith. Mrs. Smith has known Mr. West for all of the seventeen years she’s been here.

She met Mr. West through his wife, who was a very good friend of Mrs.Smith.

“I became really good friends with his wife, Mrs. West, and when my sons were younger, their daughter actually babysat for my sons.”

Smith and the Wests went on to form an amazing friendship that has lasted seventeen years and counting.

When asked how Mrs. Smith would describe him, she replied with, “Honest, a man of integrity, strong in his faith. I think he was a good father to his three children. I think he could be someone you rely on in an emergency situation. I think if you had a problem you could always go to him. He’s very wholesome. Kind of old-fashioned. Once you get to know him he tells very corny jokes with a dry sense of humor. I think he’s just a good role model”.

Robby Saechin, a Senior at River City High School, shares his personal experience in Mr. West’s class. He says, “He was a great teacher and taught me a lot of what I needed for Calculus”. Saechin also explains West as a “great teacher”, and his “jokes were funny”.

Angel Perez, a Junior at River City High School, is taking Mr. Wests class this semester and talks about how it is.

“It’s ok, it’s a little boring, the class, but as a teacher he’s very funny. He says many dad jokes and has a great sense of humor”, Perez comments.

As the school year is coming to an end, students also want to say their farewells.

“I wish him all the best with retirement, truly. He seems like a good person and someone I’d get along with outside of school. He seems like he has a kind heart and I know he has worked out all his life and I truly respect that about him. I feel like maybe people can benefit from his example as a human being”, implies Perez.

Whether it’s his corny jokes, he was your teacher or even coach, or maybe even just bumped into him in the hallway, there is no doubt that Mr. West will be missed.

“I will miss Jon very much. He’s been around and a stable figure since I’ve been here. Like I said he I think he’s a great role model for people and I think he’ll very much be missed. I wish him the best and I think he deserves to go and fish everyday of his life. He’s a very big fan of fishing”, said Mrs. Smith as she may be saying her final goodbye forever.

As the year comes to an end, Mr. West will be missed by many students and teachers. His impact on River City High School will be remembered and his legacy will live on.

“I love to see kids struggle with something, pick it up, and enjoy learning, I mean that’s just the bottom line. When somebody gets it, you can see it in their face like ‘Hey this actually clicks’. You’ll see it in math. A lot of kids struggle and then they say ‘Wow I actually understand this’. You might not think teachers think like that but they do.”