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Bucher bids farewell

History, wrestling coach to leave Mac for Minneapolis
Nate Williams
Bucher, standing in Portable City, is teaching his last semester at Mac before leaving Texas and moving to Minnesota in the fall.

As a mob of former President Donald Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, Robert Bucher was teaching his very first government class over Zoom. Four years later, Bucher is teaching in his final semester at Mac and is branching out to new opportunities up north.

“When the insurrectionists went—and some were breaking in—to the Capitol, I said, ‘There is nothing I’m going to teach you about government today that is more important than this,’” Bucher said.

Bucher led his class through watching live news coverage online, creating a lasting memory of his time at McCallum and connecting a prominent current issue to his class. 

After joining Mac in August of 2019, the pandemic ended up being his first year of teaching. Now an AP Psychology and history teacher and a wrestling coach, Bucher has made a lasting impact on academics and athletics at McCallum. 

Seeing some great growth and victories from wrestlers to seeing all the great kids study for and pass the AP Psych exam is memorable.

— Robert Bucher

“I helped grow the wrestling team and had a great time doing that,” Bucher said. “I brought in the AP Psych class, so I’ve been doing that for the last four years.”

Junior Tegan Rutherford, an AP Psychology graduate and teacher assistant for Bucher, said being in his class has made her a better thinker and a better student overall.

“When he’s teaching about the parasympathetic nervous system, he will pick a kid and bang on their desk, so he’s really just an engaging teacher,” Bucher said. “I’ll remember how loud he talks, it is just so iconic really.”

Bucher not only makes an impact on his students, but they also learn from each other and have been able to grow in the classroom environment he creates. In turn, Bucher learns from his students. They impact him both in the classroom and also through their art and interests outside of history or psychology.

“Running into my students at really cool shows at Mohawk and Stubbs, seeing all their great artwork and seeing some great growth and victories from wrestlers to seeing all the great kids study for and pass the AP Psych exam is memorable,” Bucher said.

History teacher and Education Austin representative Robert Bucher observes his class as they participate in a Social-Emotional Learning exercise. (Dave Winter)

Bucher’s portable mate, English teacher James Hutcheson, said he would greatly miss his next-door school neighbor. 

“He’s always there to help anytime you need it, and it’s been reciprocal,” Hutcheson said. “Teachers learn from each other, and I’ve learned a lot from him.”

Hutcheson and Bucher have not just been door-to-door partners but also friends.

“He rode his motorcycle out to my house in Elgin one time with his then-fiancée,” Hutcheson said. “And we all played disc golf, which was very fun.” 

Teachers learn from each other, and I’ve learned a lot from him.

— James Hutcheson

Bucher will leave Mac at the end of this semester. He and his wife will move north to Minneapolis, where he will continue teaching and possibly continue coaching. 

Bucher said that Minneapolis “is perfect” and can not wait to be in the frigid state.

“[Minnesota is] a perfect storm of it being a unionized state, so teachers have more protections and more privileges, they get paid better and have schools that reflect that,” Bucher said. “It’s a very progressive city and state, so they’re concerned with climate change, and they have built their city around bike lanes and spent tax dollars on things that benefit the people.”

The winter temperatures do not scare Bucher, who grew up in Indiana. The move allows him to move back to his roots and pursue new career chances. 

“It’s super cold but I grew up in the cold,” Bucher said, “and my wife is actually the one who really wants to get away from the Texas heat

While this may be Bucher’s last semester at Mac, his contributions to the school will continue. The AP Psychology class will be taken up in a new year-long format by fellow history teacher Clifford Stanchos, and the wrestling team will continue to compete. 

“I love McCallum, I love the community here, I love the school, I love the wrestling team, I love the students, I love the teachers and administration,” Bucher said. “We are heading off to greener pastures.”

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  • J

    Judy DavidsonApr 17, 2024 at 12:02 pm

    I am very proud of my son-in-law, Rob Bucher. He is such a natural and dedicated teacher that he enlightens me with historical facts that I am not aware of! Then he follows up by sending books for me to read. I’m waiting for the exam!

  • R

    Robert BucherApr 17, 2024 at 11:40 am

    Great article Nate, I love it! Just one thing—instead of greener pastures, I meant snowier pastures. I sure will miss Austin and McCallum though. I wish you all the best!

  • M

    MaryApr 17, 2024 at 11:30 am

    So proud to be your sister-in-law! ❤️Mary