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2 beloved Woodland teachers forge futures in farming, retire after four decades of service

2 Woodland teachers of 40 years to retire at end of school year
2 Woodland teachers of 40 years to retire at end of school year 02:43

WOODLAND -- Two teachers who are true cornerstones within the Woodland Joint Unified School District community have both decided to retire following the current school year.

Jerry Delsol has taught within the district for 41 years and Eric Dyer for nearly 40. They've each spent about 30 years at Woodland High School (WHS) teaching a host of different classes in agriculture.

Together, they have cultivated the thriving and popular ag department at WHS over decades of hard work and innovative ideas. 

"We've been a package deal since we started," Dyer said.

"So, Eric says, 'Why don't we go out together?' " Delsol said.

They've forged a legacy in agriculture, guiding three generations of students in lessons that go well beyond the classroom. Now, it's time for a new chapter for the teachers.

"I want them to feel like they are something special," Delsol said.

"At the end of the day, it's that they can say, 'I can do it,' " Dyer said.

The high school campus is home to greenhouses, multiple gardens, a workshop and areas for students to get hands-on learning.

"We've serviced over 10,000 students going through each of our classrooms. That is significant," Dyer said.

Dyer teaches agricultural engineering, horticulture, agriculture economics and government to freshmen through seniors.

His ag engineering students on Friday were working to fix up an old tractor and give it new life.

"Oh, I'll miss him a lot. No one can fill his shoes. He's been here what, a century now?" junior Mason Stewart said.

"Close to it, old as dirt!" Dyer responded.

Delsol and his students were in his colorful classroom making water filters on Friday.

He teaches the farm-to-fork class, agricultural chemistry and agricultural biology to freshmen through seniors.

"I love having Delsol as a teacher. He is an inspiration to me," sophomore Brandon Bibriesca said. "I love his class, probably my favorite class at the whole school."

Delsol said he wants his students to remember that the sky is the limit.

"Our kids aren't that bad. They are excellent. They are going to go somewhere. That's what I want them to think about," Delsol said.

They both say they have no regrets about their decision to retire but that they will miss the kids the most.

"I like working with students who don't always have a focus and a vision for themselves. We can have a conversation and come up with 'What are you going to do in the future?' " Dyer said.

Their legacy lies in the learning that will live on for decades to come at the WHS ag department that wouldn't exist today without them.

Both Delsol and Dyer were dedicated to the school's Future Farmers of America program, even traveling with students across the country to win national titles.

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