As another school year closes, many look to start the next chapter of their lives. Among them is Marshfield High School Speech and Theater Teacher, Speech and Debate Coach, and Theater Director Greg Holtschneider, also known simply as "H".
For 24 years, H has taught the students the art of stageplay and how to utilize your words. Though, being a teacher was not at the top of his list when he was a young Oklahoma State college graduate. With a master's degree, H started odd jobs, including repossession and a coaster factory worker to have money coming in. He recalls, "When I first started teaching, I had no plans of doing so. I did not go to school to become a teacher. Which probably makes people scared when they first hear that." Then one fateful night, while having dinner with his best friend. Their parents visited. Both parents were Missouri school superintendents.
"We were just talking," H remembers. "They found out I had my master's degree in theater. They asked, 'Have you thought about teaching?' I said, 'Not really, but I like to eat… are you offering me a job?' They said 'Yes'".
Before H knew it, he was in Bolivar teaching at Halfway. He became close friends with Joyce Creemer, the superintendent of Halfway, who sadly passed away after the second year of his teaching.
"She was the reason I started teaching," said H. "I did not expect to like teaching, but then I grew to love it."
Thanks to Jim Rich, who came to Marshfield as an assistant superintendent, H was asked to come here to teach. Hesitant at first, H was convinced to move down and began teaching at MHS when Jan Hibbs became the principal.
During his time at MHS, H has directed 41 plays and musicals, including such works as 'Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,' 'Little Shop of Horrors, 'The Bold Soprano' and 'The Boys Next Door.'
Looking back on the shows brings many fond memories to H. "I believe we have always done a quality show, but there are many fond memories."
When H was not directing or teaching, he could be found coaching the Speech and Debate team. The team received many trophies and honors during his time, including a National Champion in 2012. Before putting up his speech and debate notes, H wanted to cross some items off his list.
"When I knew I was going to leave in 8 years, I set certain standards and goals for us to reach because I think it is good to keep pushing for more," H told. "We have hit all but one of them, and we still have a chance."
Some of those goals were:
First, have 100 State qualifiers, and the team has had 104.
Second, to have 10 State champions, and the team has 10.
Third, to have 40 District champions, the team earned its 40th this year.
Fourth, to have 75 National Qualifiers, the team beat that goal with 77.
Finally, to have 25 break or advance to the top 60 at Nationals; currently, the team has 24.
Looking back, H said, "Marshfield has been a great school, and it will be hard to leave."
Thanks to the support of his wife Angie and his two sons Sam and David, who graduated this year, H has been able to keep going this long.
Even though he is leaving, H hopes "The kids will continue bonding together and the best compliment to me would be next year, both programs step up a little bit to get even stronger."
"I do not want them to text me telling me everything that is different, wrong, or bad," he added. "Because it is probably not, and is not going to make me feel good. I have done my job right if things get better after I leave."
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