A farewell to beloved teacher, Chadwick Odle


Sophia Turner

Remnants of Mr. Odle’s classroom items stay behind in Mr. Bateman’s classroom. Among them are “Basketball around the World” and “Basketball Basics”— two books written on coaching by Odle’s grandfather.

Chadwick Odle: a teacher whom students have adored year after year since 2001, a teacher once dedicated to educating high schoolers on everything from the French Revolution to the Great Depression, and a teacher who befriended many. In mid-January, Odle stepped into the halls of White Station for his last time as a teacher and said goodbye to his career.

For 22 years, Odle had been balancing two jobs, both of which he had passion for. When he was not engaging students in the classroom, he could be found coaching cheerleaders at Memphis Cheer.

“I remember a lot of times when we were virtual, he would be on his computer at that business, like he would be sitting in his gym … in a little office,” Cristina Tekemska (10) said. “I’d see the [gym] logo in the background, and I thought it was kind of funny that he was doing one job at another job. Like he was at his gym but he was still doing his teacher job there and having us on zoom.”

Coaching in Odle’s family has continued for generations; his Dad was a high school basketball coach, and his grandfather was a college basketball and two time coach for the Chinese Olympic team. Recently, Odle had been given the opportunity to buy Memphis Cheer and seal full ownership but pursuing this opportunity would have been difficult while teaching. 

“He had to kind of make a choice,” Human Geography and World History teacher Jeremy Bateman said. “Do I go and pursue this one opportunity that I have and go boom, or do I stay here?”

Odle made the executive decision to retire from education and focus full-time on his gym. Aside from Memphis Cheer, Odle has also been planning to start a fresh business called MC Athletics.

“I’d been asking him how he’d been doing on his gym and he said ‘It’s been going pretty well,’ but I didn’t realize he was that close to finishing it and getting all of his finances balanced out for everything,” Caleb Brown (9) said. “His gym finally made him more money than his teaching job.”

While Odle has moved on to bigger and better things in the business world, his legacy will continue to reside in the Freshman Academy, Room 219. In his classroom, Odle curated the perfect mixture of being able to have fun while learning simultaneously. He was uniquely able to strengthen connectivity between his students and create a comfortable interactive environment, often triggering laughter with his quick-witted jokes.

“He would kind of poke fun at us, the students, a little bit and we had a bunch of running jokes between different students arguing with each other,” Tekemska said. “There was a couple of joking conflicts that we would have and it was very funny.” 

Besides creating an enjoyable learning atmosphere, Odle carried a birthday tradition in his classroom, whom many students would find hard to forget.

“He pulls up to make sure it’s actually their [the student’s] birthday on Powerschool, and then he just says, Alright, looks like it’s time for somebody to stand on the desk,’ and then they stand on the desk and everybody embarasses them by singing happy birthday,” Brown said.

Although he’s retired, Odle’s love for the students as well as his coworkers has not ceased. Odle takes pride in being a history teacher for numerous years at White Station, which he believes has a phenomenal history department. As a goodbye to his students, Odle left a few words:

“I’m sure I’ve said this to you guys before, just remember high school is a necessary evil to something greater,” Odle said.