From Christopher Heimerman’s article on the Sauk Valley Media website:
Rollie Conkling insists he isn’t a teacher or a relative of his students – even though it would be easy to mistake him for both.
A lifelong mechanic, the Rock Falls resident has been teaching automotive technology at Whiteside Area Career Center since 1974 – 33 years, because there are a couple of breaks in there.
At 69, he said he’s a couple of years away from teaching former students’ grandchildren. If it weren’t for the rock stars he’s taught this year, he wouldn’t have hemmed and hawed a bit over whether to retire after this year.
“If it was a terrible year, I really would’ve been ready to get out of here,” he said. “But the kids were just so good. I just happened to have a lot of true automotive students.”