Stillwater PTA pays tribute to Bob Scharer – outstanding teacher, inspiring advocate and lifelong mentor

  • Written by Leanne Christensen, RSD

Bob Scharer. Courtesy photo.
At the end of each school year PTAs have the opportunity to organize special ceremonies in which they take the time to share their appreciation for the inspiring educators in our schools by nominating them for distinctive Washington State PTA honors.

In most cases, the long list of achievements these recipients have accumulated during their teaching tenure marvels even the most veteran of parents and educators.

This year at Stillwater Elementary parents and staff (past and present) literally lined up for a chance to speak at one of these ceremonies in tribute of their much loved and deeply admired teacher, Bob Scharer, who retired at the end of the school year.

During this ceremony the PTA announced the establishment of the Bob Scharer Scholarship, in honor of Mr. Scharer’s extraordinary contribution to teaching, which will be given to Cedarcrest High School students at their senior awards ceremony each year.

In his 40 years of teaching in the Riverview School District, 27 were as a classroom/PE teacher at Cherry Valley Elementary, and 13 were as the elementary PE specialist at Stillwater. Mr. Scharer is a teacher who will not be readily forgotten by his students or their parents. In some cases he has had the chance to watch his students grow into adulthood, and then have the rare opportunity to teach their children as well!

Stillwater Elementary parent Christine Stefani-Hillstead explains, “I had the pleasure of having Mr.Scharer as my 6th grade teacher years ago when he was teaching at Cherry Valley Elementary. Three years ago my oldest daughter begin attending Stillwater Elementary and had the honor of having Mr.Scharer as her PE teacher. She had heard me talk endlessly about Mr.Scharer’s funny jokes, reassuring smile, and genuine love for his students for years, before ever attending school. After having him as a teacher herself, she now understands how truly wonderful Mr.Scharer is as a teacher and person.

“I would like to say that he is an inspiration to my family and to the thousands of former students who had the pleasure of having him as their teacher. Thank you, Mr. Scharer for positively impacting our lives and for challenging us to always do our best.”

Mr. Scharer is remembered so fondly by past students, that he has had the honor of being asked to speak at high school graduation ceremonies, a privilege rarely given to elementary school teachers. Many past students still treasure their highly coveted “Birthday Poster” which Mr. Scharer made for EACH and EVERY student every year!

When the Stillwater PTA recognized Mr. Scharer as their 2011-2012 Outstanding Advocate they spoke of his ability to teach, challenge, and mentor all students on a daily basis. They shared of his PE fitness classes and the focus on fun creative games for the inclusion of all students, and how he created additional opportunities for students regarding fitness and learning outside of the school day by volunteering his time to organize the popular Skippers Jump Rope Program.

Mr. Scharer is one of those rare individuals with the special ability to really connect with students and take a compassionate and genuine interest in their lives.

Stillwater PTA President Laura Tisdale expressed, “The students and families at Stillwater are blessed to have Mr.Scharer be part of their lives... thank you Mr.Scharer for caring so deeply about our kids!”

Although Mr. Scharer has retired from teaching his legacy will continue on not only in the classrooms of our school buildings, but in the hearts of his students, parents and fellow teachers who were fortunate to have known this impassioned teacher, mentor and friend.

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