Fes Still Working in Retirement

Abby Pincoe and Vivian Hall

At the end of last school year, Streetsboro High School said goodbye to one of its favorite teachers, Tom Fesemyer. Fesemyer, more commonly known as ‘Fes’, retired from his 27-year teaching career at SHS, after teaching decades of shop classes, T.V. production and S.T.E.M., as well as serving as the head coach of the track team for 25 years. 

Students, colleagues, and athletes alike are missing seeing Fes every day since his retirement. 

Throughout his time at SHS, Fes had a strong passion for coaching track and officially retired from his position of head coach at the end of the 2018 season. From start to finish, he continuously built close relationships with his track athletes. 

“He made my freshman year easygoing,” said junior runner Taylor Ivory. “I just like how he speaks about people. You could ask him, ‘how this person is’ or ‘what this person has done,’ and he always has a story to go along with every single person.”

 Fes also had close relationships with his coaching staff, such as former colleague Robb Kidd, who took over as head coach after Fes’ retirement. Kidd coached alongside Fes for the duration of his coaching career, which allowed them to build a strong friendship. 

“In terms of some of the things he did for me, he kind of gave me a yin-yang experience with track,” Kidd said. “…[H]e gave me a lot of trust to do what I was doing, to work underneath him in a program that was his — as the head coach — but never really questioned any of my coaching or what I was doing.”

Interacting with coaches from other schools is one of the many things Fes shared about missing from coaching track. “I built relationships with a lot of coaches from other schools over 25 years [of] doing it,” he said. “Competing against people that you know and respect… you go to post-season, you have all the coaches cheering everybody from their league on because they want to see everybody in their league do well. That camaraderie was always special to me.” 

Fesemyer’s time at SHS also consisted of forming many special relationships with his colleagues. One of these colleagues is P.E. teacher, Krista Romance, who said that Fes, in many ways, acted as her “mentor teacher.” 

“He was my person,” Romance said. “He was the one where if something good was going on, I would share it with him. If I was having a bad day and needed to vent, he was my person.” 

Fesemyer said he missed the daily interaction with students and staff. “I’ve been there for 25 plus years, you know, you build a lot of relationships with people over that time,” he said.

While he misses aspects of his old job and life at SHS, Fesemyer said he has especially been enjoying “not having to get up at 5:30 in the morning to go to school,” he said. 

Fes has also been keeping himself busy with starting a new business called Fesemyer Construction Company.

“…[We] are building decks, we are doing bedroom remodels, [and] we are doing basement remodels,” Fes said. “I’m busy, but it’s a different kind of busy than what I’ve been, and I have yet to sit down and think, ‘man, what am I going to do today?’” 

In his spare moments of retirement, he has traveled to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge with his oldest daughter. This year, he has attended three weddings, including his youngest daughter’s. “Three weddings in 21 months…go me!” Fesemyer joked. 

Although newly retired, Fesemyer has made the decision to return to SHS part-time to teach a senior STEM class. When asked to take on the position, Fes said, “part of me was like, ‘why are you doing this?’ and ‘what are you doing?’, but when I sat down with the guys and started talking, I knew exactly why I was doing it. It’s a feeling I can’t explain.”