Last Ride for a BBCHS Legend

Dr. Gary Hyde has been a teacher here at Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School for 27 years, his first and only official teaching position. His dedication to this school has made an impact on many adults and students that he has come across in his time here. And that time will soon be at an end, with Dr. Hyde retiring at the end of this school year.

Before coming to work at BBCHS, Dr. Hyde spent a few years at a local college, Olivet Nazarene University, as an adjunct professor. As Dr. Hyde was working on getting his PhD in history, he was looking for a full time teaching position, which led him to BBCHS. He states, “There happened to be a job open, at the last minute, about a couple weeks before school.” He now teaches AP US History and Psychology.

When Dr. Hyde started teaching here at BBCHS, things were a lot different. He explains that the school was much smaller, with around 1,600 students. He also adds that teachers were allowed a much more individualized teaching style. They were not required to follow a specific lesson guide and were allowed to decide how and when to teach each topic to their students. 

When it comes to the individualized style of teaching, he believes that he and most teachers would prefer to choose how they plan out their lessons. However he also explains that there are benefits as well as negative aspects to the new scheduled planning, stating that now “I have less preparation because I was always trying to create a new lesson… and once those lessons were cut off from what we wanted to do then that has lessened my preparation everyday.” 

Dr. Hyde has excelled as a teacher because of the relationships he has built with his students. When asked about how he believes his teaching skills have developed over the years, he explains that early on, you are more focused on lessons and are more nervous.

As a new teacher it is easy to forget to develop relationships with your students, but now Dr. Hyde feels as if that is one of the most important parts about being a teacher. 

A former student of Dr. Hyde’s, a senior at BBCHS, stated that “he has personally asked (me) and other classmates of mine about their personal goals, aspirations, college plans, family life, and more.” 

Another former student of Dr. Hyde’s, Justin Lebeda, class of 2016, is currently employed as an AP US History teacher. When asked about why he reached out to Dr. Hyde for advice once starting this job, he explained, “As a first-year teacher tackling AP, I needed some help. So why not reach out to the person who did it best: Dr. Hyde. He was gracious enough to not only provide me with materials and ideas I could use in my classroom, but also encouragement that I would be able to succeed as a teacher.” 

Dr. Hyde has made a great impact on many students over the past years. However, after 27 years of teaching, Dr. Hyde has officially decided to retire after the 2022-23 school year, with current plans of traveling out to the Northeast after doing so. 

Many future students will miss out on the great opportunity of having Dr. Hyde as a teacher. He will be greatly missed.