SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A teacher in Parker is retiring after 34 years on the job.
Phil Bjorneberg lives in Sioux Falls, but has driven back and forth to Parker, 30 miles each way, to teach and coach track and cross country.
Friday some of his co-workers wanted to send him off the right way and as you’re about to see, they definitely went the extra mile.
And they’re off. In a 30 mile relay from Parker to Sioux Falls to honor their longtime track and cross country coach Phil Bjorneberg or Mr. B as they like to call him.
“We have a lot of great people who work here at the school and we like to come up with fun and creative ways to celebrate those people and Mr B is one of them, he has driven here to Parker from Sioux Falls for 34 years and we decided we are going to meet him today in Sioux Falls,” Marci Leberman Technology Coordinator said.
And he has no idea. Jennifer Becker, who taught alongside Mr. B for 20 years, got to start the relay with her two children.
“It’s very important to honor Phil in a way that’s special and meaningful to him since he is the track coach,” teacher Jennifer Becker said.
About two dozen of his co-workers and even former track stars; like Eliza Leloux, two-time state champion in shot put and discuss, are taking part in the relay.
“He was so involved in every aspect of the track team, he made sure everyone was super successful and beyond being a track coach, he was an awesome teacher as well to have in class,” Leloux said.
It’s funny where life takes you sometimes, because we all choose different roads, but today they all chose this road to say thanks to a man who drove the extra miles every day to make a difference in the lives of so many kids.
“I’d just like to thank him for all his dedication I’ve had three kids come through this school and he’s always been a great role model for them, he’s coached them in track and cross country and I just appreciate all his efforts for all the kids who’ve gone through here the past 34 years,” Leberman said.
“Mr. B thank you for the memories I have so many to look back on and you are an amazing coach, amazing teacher and I’m so thankful for having you in my life,” Leloux said.
As they near the finish line, after 34 years Mr. B’s race is finally over.
“Job well done, well done and enjoy your retirement,” Becker said.
They did a little math and figured Mr. B drove enough miles that would have taken him around the world 16 times in his 34 years of driving.
The group met up with Mr. B at Yankton Trail Park Friday. We’ll hear from Mr. B tonight at 10 p.m. on the NightBeat.