“Smileage is good …” retiring North Dakota teacher makes a positive impression on students

Good Day Dakota

This year has been a tough year for both students and teachers. It’s been especially difficult for teachers who planned to retire this year. Here at KX News we wanted to celebrate some of those heading into retirement in our community.

KX News spoke with a Bismarck physical education teacher who will forever be remembered for his unique sayings.

Richard Hovland grew up in Rugby, North Dakota, and has been teaching physical education for 39 years at Century High School– it’s a career path he knew he wanted to pursue at a very young age.

Richard Hovland says, “Probably by twelve years old–from that point on I go this is what I want to do. And I haven’t been disappointed and I feel so blessed. I feel like I’m still young and I’m like that kid that never grew up.”

He’s taught in 11 different schools in his career including: Bottineau, Steele, and Bismarck.

“I have coached throughout the years football, basketball, track, and for many summers did legion baseball–so I just feel very fortunate that I somehow landed in the profession that I did.” Hovland says.

His students tell KX they were also lucky they got to be apart of his life because he’s a teacher they will never forget.

Bismarck High Senior Elle Hill says, “He’s crazy, but it’s a good crazy and he’s got more energy than half the girls most of the time. His personality is just infectious because he’s always happy and he’s always bouncing off the walls.”

“He always has a smile on his face. You’ll never see him mad or angry, “Century High School senior Grant Anderson says, “Always very subtle and is just an outstanding guy.”

However, his personality isn’t the only legacy he will leave behind.

Hill says, “He’s definitely going to be remembered for his quotes.”

Anderson says, “His use of what we call HOVISMS–one word combined with another word and its a big mumble jumble.”

There’s “rag on”—1,2,3,4 it’s just crazy stuff he says all the time.” says Hill.

Another one of his HOVISMS is “smileage is good” which is something he’s lived by a lot during this pandemic and it being his last year.

Richard Hovland “Is it legal to ask for a do-over? Haha. You gain something, you give something and in the end it turns out to be a really rewarding experience.”

Elle Hill says, “He made me a better person and a better player and I know that’s true for everyone he coaches.”

“He’s there for you when you need him and he just comes off that shine in the room and everyone just wants to gravitate towards him and some people don’t come off as that but HOV is definitely that person,” Anderson Says.

But don’t worry HOV says this won’t be the last time you’ll see him– and he will continue to “up his anti’s” during his retirement.

“You know maybe change is a good thing– i don’t know we are going to find out. Every time I walk in the building I get the willies again– and go ahhhh ahh I’m not coming back,” says Hovland, “I have to ween myself off a little bit before I say goodbye completely haha. I don’t know that’s kind of cheating on my part.”

From all of us here at KX News, congratulations to HOV and all the Bismarck teachers retiring this year.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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