Mishawaka High School teacher retires after 31 years teaching with family

MISHAWAKA, Ind. (WNDU) – Paul Modlin has been teaching at Mishawaka High School for 31 years, and he has had the opportunity to teach alongside not one, not two, but three members of his family.

“I used to change their diapers, and now they’re my best friends,” Paul said.

This is how he describes working alongside two of his nephews and his niece as teachers at the school.

Tuesday is Paul’s last day of teaching, and he says he views his students as his children.

“It’s part of my life. It is part of my house. My favorite place is at home, and it’s actually my second favorite place, ”said Paul.

When asked what he thought of his uncle’s retirement, Ben Modlin, a teacher at Mishawaka High School, said he had mixed emotions.

“As your nephew, I am really happy for you. As the head of your department, I’m really, really sad because I don’t know what I’m going to do without you next year, ”said Ben, the nephew and director of engineering and technology at MHS.

Paul says Ben is finally excited about his retirement for more than one reason.

“Ben is delighted that tomorrow is my last day because he has my class,” said Paul.

On a more serious note, Ben says he’s grateful to have had his uncle as a teacher and colleague.

“Getting to know my uncle as not my uncle but as a coworker was great, and as his boss was a bit better too because he’s the perfect winger,” Ben said.

Even though Paul will be teaching his last class on Tuesday, Ben says his impact at school will continue.

“The legacy will live on because of him and the students he has had over the past thirty years or so. They’re better because of it, ”Ben said.

“It’s fun to watch them grow up from a freshman. They usually get about that big and then they leave as young adults, and it’s kind of nice to be a part of it as they get older, ”said Paul.

Although Paul says he has no fixed plans for the future, he hopes to build a pole barn and restore the cars when he retires.

Copyright 2021 WNDU. All rights reserved.

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