Success adds up in Dubach's final year of teaching

Authored by Jim Langham on May 21, 2012

For the fifth time in his teaching career, Adams Central math teacher Rick Dubach worked the proper equation to inspire his eighth grade math team to capture an Indiana state math championship. The AC math team competed in regional action at Fort Wayne Wayne and was pitted up against teams from such schools as Marion, Fort Wayne middle schools, Bellmont, Southwest Allen and Columbia City.
According to team member Hunter Bates, questions were posted and teams had 20 seconds to answer. Team tabulators kept track of each team's activity. In the end, the AC squad scored 18 of 25 correct, which was the best in the Wayne Regional. But it wasn't until all other regionals in Adams Central's class were tabulated over the weekend that it was realized that the local squad had the best score in the state.
Once received, the state championship plaque will be placed with other state title and placement plaques on Dubach's classroom wall.
"You could talk to your partners and work as a team," said Bates. "After every question, they gave the right answer, so we could see how we were doing question by question.
"This is great. It has helped me a lot in the classroom; it makes me want to sharpen all of my skills," continued Bates. "This makes me really want to work hard in high school and get a good grade point average. I learned how much hard work pays off. It makes me want to work hard to get a good scholarship."
"It's a great feeling to know that you are the state champion," commented team member David Fox. "It's awesome; we all worked hard for this. Mr. Dubach worked hard with us throughout the year to learn the problems. It makes me feel great. I learned a lot of new things."
Calvin Isch said that team members put in many hours studying during math class and staying after school to work on potential question situations. He noted that team members were prepared for things they needed to know.
"Mr. Dubach gave us equations that we needed to know. In some ways, they were harder than the contest to help prepare for competition," observed Isch.
"He worked hard to guide us. I definitely want to do this in high school. Hopefully we will win state then, too."
"We're all especially happy that we won the state in Mr. Dubach's last year," noted James Weil. "It was an awesome experience; we kept watching the score.
We knew that we had a chance to win state but we didn't know for sure until all of the scores were in."
Weil said that he was especially excited to be on a state championship team since his brother, Jacob, was also on a state title team a few years ago.
"I am studying more all of the time," Weil said. "All of those problems were really hard. I know that is how high school is going to be."
Dubach said that his attention was drawn to the motivational factor of the competition in the early 1980s when a teacher at the time, seventh grade teacher Mike Brown, took a team to competition in Jay County and told him how great it was. For many years, Dubach said, competition was held at Jay County.
"I loved seeing how the minds of these kids work," said Dubach, who has coached math competition for 25 years. "I've always been amazed at how quick they can come up with answers to very difficult problems.
"When I've coached them I've always tried to approach this the same way I did when I coached basketball and baseball," noted Dubach. "I always tried to make practice more difficult than the contest so that the contest would seem easier."
After graduating from South Adams High School, where he met and eventually married his high school sweetheart, Karen (Liechty) Dubach, he attended Manchester College and received a degree in teaching.
Dubach attended three southern Adams County schools while living with his parents (Wayne and Annabelle Dubach) in their family home in Hartford Township. It was a time of transition into South Adams High School he attended Hartford School through the seventh grade. From eighth grade through his sophomore year, he attended Geneva High School. Then, after consolation, he moved on to South Adams where he played a major part in an outstanding Starfire basketball team coached by former educator and mayor John Minch.
Dubach, who is retiring with 40 years of teaching at Adams Central under his belt, started teaching at AC in 1972. For many years he taught four classes of eighth grade math. In recent years, he has taught algebra to eighth graders and three sections of high school students.
Dubach said that part of his decision to retire could be attributed to frustration and loss of energy demanded by the state's new and strict testing requirements.
"I'm responsible for 120 kids a day. The state has taken some of the fun out of it because of the testing they do," Dubach said. "Algebra One is a high stakes class. Before all of this testing came, you could be more creative. You could make things more fun.
"All summer long I do construction work, putting on roofing and siding. Now, at the end of a teaching day, I am four times more tired than I am after all of that hard physical labor during the summer," observed Dubach.
"I always worry, have I covered enough material for the state test?" continued Dubach. "I'm concerned about material for the state test. I really worried about it. I look at it; it gets worse and worse. I was getting more tired and more tired.
I've always tried to be a very positive person. I didn't want to get negative and pass that on to the kids. I figured that this was a good time to retire."
Dubach said that the decision to retire has been a very bittersweet one for him. He has really enjoyed teaching students of the Adams Central community, including many teachers, educators and school employees that are involved in the school at this time.
"As I look at all kids on the math teams through the years, they have been highly successful people, lawyers, doctors, teachers, engineers; they have been highly successful," observed Dubach.
"It makes me feel great when I see how so many of these kids turned out. I feel good when they come back and visit and tell me how they are doing now," added Dubach. "I always had high expectations for the kids. There were things that they thought they couldn't do; it was always neat to discover with them that they could do more than they thought. This is a very bittersweet and emotional time for me, but I feel like it is the right time to do this."


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