A Ranger since 1977, Mogen looks to a life after teaching


Laine Sanders

Randy Mogen’s last year at Park High school.

Laine Sanders, Geyser staff writer

Science teacher Randy Mogen is retiring after 18 years of teaching at Park High. He went to college at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington for his undergraduate degree, then got his masters at Montana State University. He worked in Alaska at Ketchikan High School for 22 years teaching math and science before returning to his alma mater to finish out his career.  

Although Mogen is a science teacher, he said he did not always want to become a teacher. He thought about careers in engineering or genetic counseling. He has several family members who are teachers, but he said he didn’t expect to become one as well.  

Although Mogen hasn’t taught every student during their time at Park High, he taught a fair amount. He taught Biology, forensic science, and AP Biology.

Gabe Holmes, a senior at Park High School, took A.P. Biology with Mogen. He said that Mogen has a consistent way of teaching and it’s easy to digest. He also said that Mogen is an open guy, and chill.

Not only will his students miss him, but so will his co-workers. Alecia Jongeward, a science teacher at Park High, said “He’s the best! I love Mr. Mogen. He really listens to the things I have to say. We did so much collaboration on Biology curriculum. Because of his experience he can always take what we’re doing and look at it in a bigger picture sort of a way. He always has some sort of positive and experienced input.”  

Jongeward, who has taught with Mogen for six years, said she is going to miss the talks they shared together over the years. “We actually have a lot in common, so a lot of the things we just talk about. Just spending time talking to him,” Jongeward said.  

Mogen has so many memories from teaching here, but some of his favorites are field trips with his biology classes, the freshmen science classes, survival science, and Science Olympiad. He said he likes the interaction with kids and teaching his AP classes. “I’ve never been bored,” he said.

 He is going to miss the staff but also his students. “I’m probably going to miss the people I work with a lot. I really, really enjoy working with my colleagues here in high school. I will miss the daily interaction with the students and the staff. It just brings some energy to life. It brings adventure. I think I’ll miss the kids a lot.”   

After retirement, Mogen said he plans to travel. He has a trip planned to go to Iceland with his family.

As Mogen closes his career in education, there is a sense of coming full circle for the Montana native who graduated from Park High in 1977. “It was weird to come back as a professional teacher and be a colleague with some of the staff members that I knew. That was the first year or two, it felt kind of strange, and now, it just feels like home,” he said. 

Randy Mogen shown here in his high school yearbook, graduated Park High in 1977.