Wiles Retires after 30 Years Teaching, Coaching

Wiles gives a pep talk to his team in the closing minutes of the first half. Photograph by KC ONeill
Wiles gives a pep talk to his team in the closing minutes of the first half. Photograph by KC O’Neill
KC O’Neill

After 30 years of teaching, government teacher Steven Wiles has decided to retire, after making an impact through teaching government and history and coaching.

Wiles coached football at Susquehannock and other schools for almost thirty years, retiring from coaching in 2021. Recently, Wiles has stepped in to help coach track and field.
One of Wiles’s closest companions for the last twenty-five years has been psychology teacher Bill Kerr. Having known each other for 25 years, Kerr started working at SHS 15 years ago.
“I’ve known Coach Wiles for the last 25 years,” Kerr said. “But the last ten years or so, we’ve become close friends. We developed a friendship really through football … our families have also become close because his children are relatively the same age as our children.”

Wiles coaches alongside Bill Kerr in 2021.
Photograph by Jacob Stroh (Jacob Stroh)

One of Wiles’ greatest passions is coaching football.
“I just enjoy working with students and working with [them] out of the classroom as well,” Wiles said. “It’s always been a rewarding experience for me to watch. All players start as beginners and mature, grow up, learn the game, and learn lessons in that. I always thought coaching and teaching went sort of hand in hand because it’s more hands-on when you are doing it out in the field.”
Wiles has taught many courses at SHS, including government, history through sports, and U.S. History. Recently, Wiles has played the stock market game with his students. Senior Aaron Walters was one of Wiles’s students who played the stock market game.
“You get a hundred thousand dollars, and you check your stocks every week and you can buy and sell stocks,” said Walters. “He is a good teacher… he gets on an individual level with each of the students, and he is able to connect with them.”
After 30 years, Wiles said this year was the right time to retire.
“At some point in your life, you just know that it’s time to make a change. And you know, I did this for thirty years,” said Wiles. “My wife is also retiring this year. She teaches at Southwestern. She’s been teaching [for] 32 [years].”
Wiles is ready for the adventures of a retired life.
“We already do some stuff up at the Milton Hershey School,” Wiles said. “[I want to] golf more for sure [and] do things that between coaching and teaching I didn’t really have as much time as I wanted to….We have three children. My daughter got married last summer, and my son is getting married this summer. So I’ll commit more time to family.
Wiles’ announcement caught many by surprise, including Walters.
“[His announcement] was kind of shocking and really sad,” said Walters. “He doesn’t seem that old, and he is a very good teacher. So I’m kind of surprised that he is retiring.”

Social Studies teacher Steven Wiles and sophomore Mckenna Doubts also enjoy the paint room. Photograph by Maggie Grim

Kerr plans to continue his friendship with Wiles after his retirement.
“He lives right down the road from me,” Kerr said. “His wife Molly and my wife Tracy are close. They go for walks after work and things like that. So we will definitely keep in touch and spend a good amount of time with the Wiles [family]. Hopefully, I’m just a couple years behind [in retirement], but he’s a great guy… It’s going to be sad to not see him next fall, but I’m sure whoever takes coach Wiles’ place will fit right in.”

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