Beth Theobold came to Delphi in 1981 to teach in a two-teacher department in a new ag addition to the school. She never left. That is until now – she is retiring from active teaching at the end of the school year after 33 years of service.
Originally from Jamestown, she attended Granville Wells, which became Western Boone. "Steve Nichols liked to say we both went to the same high school," she quipped. "He leaves out the part that when he was a senior, I was in the second grade!"
Nichols is a retired Extension ag educator from Carroll County, and a nationally-sought-after hog judge.
When Theobold started teaching, there were few women in the profession. Today roughly half or more are women. Roughly half of or more of the FFA students are female, too.
"It was a male-dominated field back then," she adds. "When I went to visit a student in the summer, the dad couldn't get over the fact that I was going to be his child's ag teacher. It took a while for things to change."
Theobold is most proud of what her and fellow teachers through the years have accomplished for the community. Using classes they've done a list of improvements and landscaping on the school grounds. They also have a greenhouse to grow plants for projects.
They've also helped develop the Parks system in Delphi, which has become a fixture in the community, she notes.
Beth will no longer teach in the classroom but she will be working on a project to help mentor young ag teachers just entering the profession. She is looking forward to that challenge, especially since there is currently shortage of trained ag teachers to fill positions around the state. Her position will be filled at Delphi.