Lyle Thompson is in the Physical Education Department at Rigby High School. He teaches Lifetime Sports, advanced PE, Personal Fitness and Bootcamp. He has been teaching for 39 years, all at Rigby High School.

What made you decide to be a teacher? I have always loved working with high school age kids and I also love coaching. I felt it was important to try my best to help kids have a great experience if possible while they are going to high school.

What do you enjoy about being a teacher? I really enjoy seeing kids improve themselves and accomplish things that they never thought possible.

What are some challenges? One of the challenges of being physical educator, is getting inactive kids to buy into doing and participating in physical activity.

What is an experience you have had as a teacher that stands out to you? It is exciting to see the students buy into what we are doing and discover how much better they feel because of being able to get in shape. Their attitudes become more positive they are happier and look forward to each day.

Why did you decide to teach at the school you are currently at? When I came to Rigby in 1981, the school district was looking for a new wrestling coach. I had just graduated from Idaho State University where I also wrestled. I wanted to coach at the high school level. A parent of a girl I was dating at this time told me about the opening at RHS, so I applied and got the job.

What is something interesting about you most of your students don’t know? I sometimes race motorcycles and won a bronze medal at the Idaho 100-mile cross country motorcycle race.

What are some things that are different in the education system now compared to when you first started teaching/when you were a student? When I started teaching in 1981, everything was done on paper, we did not have personal computers. As teachers at the end of each semester not trimester we had to go into the counseling office and record final grades for each of our students on the paper permanent records. We also had seven periods each day not five or six. And the Rigby High school that I started at in 1981 does not exist anymore. And finally as teachers during that time we used to know almost all of the students in the school.