DERBY, Kan. (KSNW) – From student to teacher, a former Derby elementary school student is now working alongside a pair of his former teachers.
“Coming back my first year, it was kind of weird calling them by their names,” laughed David Dunn. “I always knew them as Mrs. Haag and Mr. Seyb.
Jeannie Haag and Eric Seyb started working as fourth-grade teachers at Tanglewood Elementary School in 1996.
“I have taught here in this classroom for 27 years. I have never moved classrooms. It has always been right here in this space,” said Haag.
“They hired us at the same time. I’m not sure what they were thinking. I guess they wanted some excitement in the room,” laughed Seyb.
For the entirety of their careers, Haag and Seyb have worked together, collaborating and co-teaching dozens of students each year. David Dunn was a student of theirs from 1999 to 2000.
“We will find old pictures and things of him, and it’s like, ‘Oh, you were that young once. You were one of our students,'” Haag said.
Dunn, a 2001 Tanglewood Elementary School graduate and 2008 Derby High School graduate, knew at a young age he was interested in education. When there was an open position at his former grade school, he jumped on the opportunity.
“This classroom is where I was a student, so it was really neat to get to come back into this room to look over and see Jeannie on one side and Eric on the other side and have those two mentors just right there,” Dunn said.
Dunn started at Tanglewood in 2011. For 10 of his 11 years, he has worked alongside Haag and Seyb.
“It’s awesome that he wanted to come back and be a part of this,” Seyb said. “When the opportunity came where our other teammate who we had at the time was moving, and he happened to be graduating, we were like, ‘Oh, man, that would be a great fit.'”
“It’s awesome. We love working with him. He came in knowing what Tanglewood was all about, our whole team philosophy, and he just fit right in,” Haag explained.
Dunn, Haag and Seyb also have a relationship outside of the classroom. They and their families have become good friends.