Science teacher retiring after 32 years

“I’ve had nightmares where I work at another high school in Portland thinking it would work out and it’s just a horrendous experience,” says Stephen Runion, who’s taught at Lincoln for 32 years. He retires next week.

Runion attended several colleges before finally deciding to pursue a career in teaching while studying at Multnomah Bible College.

“I started working with a high school youth group and just really enjoyed that age group. I’ve always loved science and sports, so I thought I could combine my love of science and sports by teaching and coaching,” says Runion.

Runion returned to the University of Washington to earn his teaching credentials.

Before Lincoln, Runion worked at the Portland Christian High School for three years.

“After that, I subbed for a lot of the schools in the district, and I subbed at Lincoln a lot. I subbed here so much that the principal got to know me,” says Runion. “When there was an opening, she offered me the job. It was an easy transition because she knew who I was, and she knew the kids liked me.”

At his previous school, Runion coached the girls’ basketball team as well as track, but never had the opportunity to coach at Lincoln. He did, however, teach a variety of science classes including biology, chemistry, geology and meteorology.

Along the way, he earned respect from his students.

“I was Mr. Runion’s student for three years, and with his help and guidance I went from a failing student to the chemistry tutor and TA,” says Lincoln senior Adrienne George. “He’s one of the most attentive and hardworking teachers at this school. He’s left a wonderful legacy.”

After retiring, Runion plans to continue helping students as a substitute teacher and by tutoring Lincoln students in chemistry. He also has other plans outside of education.

“I’m gonna spend a day a week at my granddaughter’s. She’s starting kindergarten so I help once a week at home. I told my wife I’d help do the housework and grocery shopping because she’s gonna keep working,” says Runion.

“He always had the bombest ties,” says Lincoln senior Jonah Bentzien.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email