Serving the community since 1922

Joe Blanchard recognized for 30 years at WHS

Joe Blanchard recently earned recognition for his 30 years of dedicated service.

as a teacher at Wasco High School.

Throughout his time at WHS, he has taught physics, chemistry, earth and physical science, and math.

"Wasco High School is a good place to teach at. I know many teachers that have taught for 30 years, but they've gone from one school to another, so they haven't taught the whole time at one school, but Wasco High has always been an excellent school to work at, and I've never wanted to teach anywhere else," Blanchard said.

He shared that he doesn't have any plans to retire soon. "Maybe in another 10 years. I'm hoping to have 40 years. But it's been nice to teach at the same school. Many of my colleagues now at the school were students of mine at one time. At the beginning of the school year, it is always fun to figure out what current students are children of previous students."

When asked what accomplishments he is most proud of, he said, "I've been able to help build the science department to reflect the new science standards. We were at the forefront of adopting the science standards. When many other schools were starting to transition, I would go to conferences or meetings and say Wasco High had already been doing this for a few years and was able to tell them some of the ideas we'd been working on. I really think that we are one of the better science departments in the county."

Core values and principles have remained constant throughout his career. "I try to be patient with the students. I try to understand their needs. I like to talk to them as adults, making sure that they are responsible for their actions but also understanding that they still can make bad decisions and not making that bad decision detrimental to their education."

He's maintained an active role as a leader in school sports. "I've coached wrestling most of the time. I've coached shotput and discus for 20 years, and JV football for five years. Over this time, I've had many accomplished athletes. And I was very happy to be the first girls wrestling coach. We've had some girls wrestle off and on over these last few decades, but since the state recognized girls wrestling, we've been able to put together a large team. This year against Shafter High School was the first time I had a girl wrestle at every one of the 14 weight classes."

Blanchard acts as an academic coach, too "I help train all the incoming teachers for their first two years. We mentor in the Wasco way, so we teach them how the high school works and our teachers' expectations. Within the science department, I help mentor experienced teachers by developing new lessons and encouraging them to teach new concepts they haven't done before. If a teacher is struggling, I go around and talk to them regularly to see if they are doing okay because it's a stressful job."

Of the impact he wants to leave behind, "I'm hoping that both the students and the teachers I've helped train continue to keep Wasco High the distinguished school that it is by supporting the students."


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