John McBride always wanted to be a teacher… until he took a journalism class at Fort Dodge Senior High from teacher Pam Rodewald. Then he wanted to be a journalist.
A 1985 graduate of Fort Dodge Senior High, McBride fondly remembers his days on staff at the Little Dodger. It was enough to give him a nose for news, so after high school and two years at Iowa Central, McBride became a full-time journalist, first in Fort Dodge and then in Sioux City.
“She did a great job,” McBride says of Rodewald, now retired from the district. “She was one of the reasons I wanted to be a journalist, and one of the reasons I wanted to be a teacher.”
But after nine years of newspaper hours, McBride decided it was time to put his family first and find a profession with more kid-friendly hours.
“If I continue to do this, I’m going to miss everything that my kids are involved in,” he recalls thinking at the time.
It wasn’t hard to decide to return to his first calling — education. McBride enrolled at Iowa State University and earned his degree in English with a journalism endorsement. He started teaching at Senior High in 1999 and hasn’t looked back.
Over the years he’s taught journalism, photography and a variety of English literature classes. He’s also served as advisor for both the Little Dodger newspaper and Dodger yearbook, but finally gave up the yearbook duties a year ago to free up a little space in a very busy schedule.
In addition to his classroom duties, McBride serves as assistant varsity football coach and head boys’ track coach. He enjoys working with the kids on a different level outside the classroom.
“I get to know them on a more personal level,” he says.
For McBride, life has come full circle a couple times, and he’s glad that it’s always led back to Fort Dodge.
“I’m so proud of being from Fort Dodge. Some people can’t wait to get out of here, but I moved away a couple of times and twice I came back,” he says. “It’s a great place to be from, and a great place to stay.”