Othar graduated from Phoenix High School where he participated in football, basketball and track. He attended college at what is now Southern Oregon University and graduated with a degree in elementary education. Othar began his teaching career at Sams Valley Elementary School where he spent the next 38 years doing what he loved and that was coaching and teaching. Upon the opening of the new Sams Valley Elementary the school which was composed of grades 1-8, Othar coached football, basketball, track and later soccer and wrestling. In the beginning at Sams Valley they had no football field to practice on or have games. But with the help of the community and weekends they were able to have a field and thus a history of a winning tradition. “What a great community of parents to work with all those years, Othar tells us. I was even blessed to have taught grandkids of my former students.”
Othar was chosen many times as honor guard for the Crater high Senior Graduation by the graduating seniors. In 2002 he received a very special surprise and honor when chosen Favorite Teacher of the Year from the Readers Choice of the Mail Tribune.
The year after retirement he and his wife Sharon, were able to take their two sons and families on a Disney Cruise in the Caribbean. Because of their first cruise experience they have taken eleven other cruises. They have been fortunate to cruise the Mediterranean, Caribbean, Bermuda, Panama Canal, Alaska, Mexico and Hawaii.
Othar shares some thoughts that he believe a teacher should be and hopes that he was one of them.
- Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers.
- The dream begins with teachers who believe in you, who tug and push and lead you to the next plateau.
- Teachers empathize with kids, respect them and believe that each one has something special that can be built upon.
- A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the size of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove. But the world may be different because I was important in the life of a student.
After his retirement in 2002, Othar has continued to substitute in School District #6 and now has worked in the District as a teacher for more than 52 years.