A Teaching Legend – Mr. Fehlberg Retires After 40 Years of Teaching

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By Julie Johansen

William Reed Fehlberg began teaching in January of 1978 in the Emery School District.

He taught at both Cleveland and Huntington elementary schools, Canyon View Junior High and Emery High School.  He taught general music classes and seventh grade health, but his main area of focus was band. He received his degree from BYU where he also wrestled. Thus, he also coached wrestling for several years intermittently at Emery High and assisted coaching wrestling at Canyon View. In that time, he received the honor of being chosen as the 2A Wrestling Coach of the Year. In 1994, he was inducted into the BYU Wrestling Hall of Fame and was nominated into the state hall of fame. In recent years, he was the Arch Coal Teacher of the Year.

Fehlberg married Carma Lake in 1986 and together they have raised eight children. He has taught children of his students, and even grandchildren of some of his first students. This was very rewarding to him. He remarks that learning to teach with his own personality style, incorporating things he learned from others, was one of his biggest challenges during his teaching career. Watching students and entire bands meet his expectations and their potentials are the highlights of his career.

Fehlberg credits Wayne Erickson, Dennis Bacon and Tim Farr for being his mentors. They were teaching in the district when he began his career here. He also appreciates the guest conductors and peer teachers that he has worked with over the years. Fehlberg remembers outstanding ensembles that he taught and how dedicated students would come in early every day to receive that outstanding rating on a state level. Exchange concerts with much larger schools are also high on his memory list.

When asked about his plans for the future, he responded, “Getting caught up on everything I have put on the back burner while teaching.” He is also looking forward to having fun with his grandchildren.

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