Prchal retires after 20 years teaching art at NPHS

Mikkal Hvidsten, Writer

Barb Prchal, an art teacher here at New Prague High School, is retiring after 20 years of teaching here.  She has helped many students and given them a love for art. One sophomore, Elsie Schaumburg, says “she made my days so much better… she is a very kind caring person.”

Prchal has very much enjoyed teaching her students and giving them new skills.  She is grateful for becoming an educator because she got to touch so many lives at NPHS. When asked about any specific moments in her career she says, “20 years is a long time… any time a student had that ‘a-ha’ moment (when they get it) stood out to me.”  

Those moments were her “happy moments” and moments that she will never forget. Prchal has had lots of support from her fellow peers at NPHS and says, “we are all intertwined and vested in helping each other.” These teachers in NPHS have helped Prchal reach her “potential as an educator.”

Retirement can be exciting with all the possibilities. What Prchal is excited about is the “ability to travel and continue to work on my art. Retirement will also allow me time to develop new interests.” 

Her plans with retirement span a “long bucket list,” but mostly she is excited to see what lies beyond New Prague and to experience what the world has to offer. She also plans to spend more time with her family and to volunteer more. 

“To me, retirement is a whole other career, but this one I can mold to fit my time constraints and fashion around my interests.” 

Prchal has already started the process to become a Disaster Red Cross Volunteer and plans to come back to the schools to volunteer help as well. 

But retirement is bittersweet. When asked what she will miss the most about teaching she answers, “Definitely the students, but especially the everyday interactions with my colleagues and most importantly spending time with Crystal Bronce every day.” 

She will miss “Hopke’s crazy laugh” that always made her smile and hitting up the social studies department when she “had a question about the current political issues facing our country.” Overall Prchal will miss the school, faculty, and students who have “been like a home away from home for 20 years.”  

Prchal has been a great presence in the school with contagious kindness. Thank you for your effort and time here at NPHS.