Ask Tom Koch what he did over summer vacation, and he’ll tell you he got married — after a romantic proposal.
“I took Jill on a hot air balloon ride to propose, but you can’t really move around in those things,” says Koch (pronounced “cook.”) “The baskets are much smaller than in the movies. Anyway, I showed her the ring and told her she could have it when we landed because I didn’t want to drop it!”
For their honeymoon, the newlyweds traveled to Greece.
“We rented a car for a few days to explore the island,” he says. “We found ourselves a nice pastry shop and ate baklava every day and fresh fish each night.”
Koch has been subbing in the district and is currently an associate at S.E.P. High School with an eye toward more work.
“I am excited about pursuing a full-time position,” he says.
Koch’s job has him back in familiar territory. He grew up outside of Runnells and lived three miles from the school where he now teaches. He attended Four-Mile Elementary and graduated at SEP High School.
“My fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Lyle, was an all-around good person and helped me,” he says. “I enjoyed being around friends, and I met a lot of good teachers.”
While in school, Koch particpated in many sports — football, basketball, wrestling, track and cross country.
“In high school, I focused on wrestling,” he says. “I went to state my senior year at S.E.P. and took fourth place at Vet’s Auditorium. You had to run through the crowd to get to the mat — the atmosphere was indescribable!”
Tom Koch graduated from Simpson College with a major in PE and a health endorsement; he is currently taking special education courses. He enjoyed attending a smaller school.
“College was very similar to high school,” he says. “It is a small college, but class sizes were small; professors were more involved with their students.”
Koch and his new bride live in Altoona with his miniature dachshund, Ducky. He is also an ordained minister and has performed six weddings.