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Mankato West Teacher Celebrates 41st First Day of School

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The bell has rung and the classrooms are full as the start of a new school year has begun for many students in our area.

It's the first day of school at Mankato West High School. And once the bell rings these halls will once again be filled with nearly 1,200 students.

Brian Gersich says, "Just having the kids back in the building is the most exciting thing. All summer long you do a lot of planning and it's so quiet but the kids brings so much energy and positivity."

However, it's not just the first day for the students, but also for the teachers.

And for Bob Ihrig, it's his 41st first day of school, his 40th at West, and it's also his last.

Bob Ihrig says, "Well. I'm feeling pretty excited. You know to think that next year I won't be going through this after all of these years of experiencing what the first day is like. I'm excited, I'm looking forward to it. I call it Bob's farewell tour."

And even after 41 years, the most exciting part of a new school year has remained the same.

Ihrig says, 'Well it's always the new students that I'm going to have. So 150–200 students throughout the year. It will be fun to get to know them; that's always an experience to develop relationships with those students because they become part of my memories as a teacher."

And whether it is your first or last first day, Ihrig's words of wisdom extend to all.

Ihrig says, "On the first day I would say that you want to have fun, particularly you know in my classes that we have: U.S. History, debate and government, but also you need to work hard, you need to set some high standards for yourselves because what you do each year does kind of influence the future you're going to have. Think about your future, not just today."