LAKEWOOD, Ohio — It's the second week of school at Lakewood High School and math and engineering teacher Bob Sedlak is ready for the new year.
But it's not just any year. It's his last.
He's been mentoring and educating children at LHS for more than a quarter century.
"This is energizing for me. I still enjoy getting up early in the morning, preparing for whatever my classes are," Bob told us.
And while the times have changed: "The big difference is the social media component. And even more specifically, the cell phones," Bob said.
His love for the students has never wavered.
"They're sharp. They're bright. They're funny. They make me laugh and that probably keeps me young," Bob said.
Right next door to Bob is Kellie Martin's classroom. She's in her first year of teaching as a medical office management instructor for Westshore Career Technical District.
Seeing her in action, you'd think she had years of experience. But Kellie has no problem keeping things humble in class.
"This is brand new to me, too. So I do have some new students in the program. So I said, 'We're gonna learn together, we're gonna get through it together,'" Kellie said.
There's another reason why Kellie is feeling the pressure this year. In the most heartwarming twist, Kellie is taking over her mom, Dolores' classroom!
Yes, you read that correctly. Dolores spent more than a decade as the medical office management teacher at LHS. She retired last year.
Not only is her daughter taking over her class, she's taking over the very same classroom, too.
"I'm here and I'm carrying this on for her. I think she misses it a little bit, too," Kellie said. "She likes me being able to call her and, you know, ask questions and check in. And, she's actually gonna be my sub on Friday. So I think the kids are gonna be excited to see her"
They are two teachers on very different paths: One at the starting line, and one at the finish.
Kellie is starting to connect with her kids. She's facing good challenges every day. She wants to see to see all of them do big things one day.
"I look forward to growing as a teacher, myself, and the students growing in the classroom and outside the classroom," she said.
Bob is excited for Kellie's adventure into teaching. For nearly three decades, he's been an amazing one himself, watching his students go off and become doctors, lawyers, architects and leaders in the military.
"I know students that have gone in the military and because they had particular skills, they were channeled to a particular direction and they thrived because they were able to articulate to their officers, 'Well, I really wanna do this. I really want to fix helicopters. I wanna do something like that.' And it helps them," Bob said.
Though no matter what they go on to become, Bob hopes he's made an impact on their lives and in their hearts.
"I just want to help as many as I can. There's always a few that maybe I didn't get to for whatever reason, but I wanna make sure that their lives are enriched because they ran into me."