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Stovers bid farewell

Greg Kinch, Reporter

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Affectionate, beloved, considerate, empathetic, passionate, humble, an idol. Words may only attempt to convey the incredible individuals that are Les Stover and Ronnie Stover.

The Stovers recently announced their plans to retire at the end of the school year, bringing to it’s end an era of great prestige full of high accolades. Les Stover began his teaching career 35 years ago and has been finding happiness in the joy of watching his students learn something new for the first time ever since. Ronnie Stover has spent the last 32 years as a teacher working in the athletic department teaching physical education courses. The Stovers plan to open up their journey’s next chapter of life after teaching, hopeful to fill it with great memories of spending time together on many road trips across the country.

Both Les and Ronnie Stover are beloved by their students, and the students are equally as loved. Les Stover said, “I’ll miss the kids, and the relationships I have with them.” Others might not find retiring something they consider hard, but both of them thought that leaving their students and colleagues would be the toughest part.  Ronnie Stover said, “It’s going to be missing the people.” Anyone who knows either of the Stovers can testify to the kindness and selfless personalities of the both of them.

Ronnie Stover has been dedicated to helping her students excel in whatever it is they do. She also plays a huge part in helping out with the swim team working behind the scenes. Ronnie Stover started out coaching tennis at Biglerville, where she also started her teaching career as a Health and Phys Ed teacher. She said, “I’m going to enjoy the writing the next chapter of our lives, definitely going to miss the students and the other teachers.” Ronnie has always believed that the most important thing in life is the people around you. She said, “Education is about people, and that’s what I’m going to miss the most.”

Not only is Les Stover a dedicated teacher, he has also been the swimming team head coach for the Bulldogs over the past three and a half decades. Remarkably, Les Stover started his coaching career as a gymnastics coach while he was still attending college at Marple Newtown.   He has recently celebrated his 400th win, several league titles, and placing in the top 10 in the state for the last 3 years in a row. Les Stover is not one who enjoys talking about himself or being in the spotlight whatsoever, he would much rather have the spotlight on his athletes. Even when asked about his major accomplishments as a coach his first answer was, “the accomplishments I’ve had working with the athletes.” Ask Les Stover any question about his career, his response will inevitably be in someway about the kids he works with and the relationships he has with them. Les Stover goes above and beyond when it comes to the role he plays in the lives of his athletes. He is more than just a coach to them, he is a second father. He said, “I develop a very close relationship with most of our athletes.”

His athletes would agree that is the very least one could say about Les Stover. Every single student/athlete Les Stover has worked with would have not one negative thing to say about him. Jarod Anderson summarized Les Stover in one word as “passionate”, saying “he really puts his heart and soul into everything he does, both athletically and academically.”

Les Stover and Ronnie Stover are two very special individuals, who at the end of the day would invite any one of their past or present students into their home. Two individuals who no matter how bad of a day they may be having anyone could go to them with any problems they have and they will stop whatever they are doing and help them. Two individuals whose legacies will forever be remembered.

 

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4 Comments

4 Responses to “Stovers bid farewell”

  1. Penny sheriff on May 4th, 2017 11:04 pm

    Les Stover has taught me back in 84 and all four of my kids. He is one of the great teachers and the Stover’s are an awesome couple. They will be missed.

  2. Abby (Miller) Smith on May 5th, 2017 12:25 am

    You are, have been and always will be pillars of Big Spring. I have fond memories of gym class with Mrs. Stover when she was expecting…….just a few years ago 😉. Mr. Stover was my diving coach and helped me perform things I never thought I was capable of. He wasn’t only my coach, but my brother, Adam’s swimming and diving coach. Your roots run deep with our family as I’m sure they do many, many others. Thank you so very much for your many years of dedication to your students and your community! Wishing you the very best in your next chapter of new beginnings. 🙏🏼

  3. Brandi Earley on May 5th, 2017 7:55 am

    Thank you for making a difference in my sons life, Mason Thrush.

  4. Gena Stambaugh on May 5th, 2017 8:30 am

    Les Stover was my teacher 30 years ago. He was one of my favorites because he was not only a teacher but also a friend. He actually listened when you had a problem and always gave great advice. You could always joke with him and he always had a smile for you either in school or out in the community. You will be missed but I wish you well on the next season of your lives. You and Ronnie deserve it. Thanks for all you have for the kids at BSHS! God bless

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