Teacher profile: Mr. Harig


Malayna Vines, features writer

After teaching at KHS for 26 years, Tim Harig, social studies teacher, plans to retire in Africa next summer, trading in his textbooks for African cuisine and the Mediterranean Sea. Harig and his wife, Nabila, have an apartment in Carthage, Tunisia where they have spent the past 10 summers.

“[Moving there] is not that much of a choice because half of our family is there,” Harig said. “This is a Mediterranean family. They’re tight-knit. We’ve been going in the summers because I wanted my son to grow up knowing that this is part of his existence. He grew up with his cousins and it has become part of his life.”

While Harig and his wife have decided moving to Africa next summer is their best option, he said he will miss many United States norms. Not only will Harig no longer be able to watch baseball from Busch Stadium, but he will also miss the clean streets, the convenience, his students and his family.

Harig said if he had the chance to do everything over again, he would still choose teaching. He said his students are the main reason he has loved his job for so many years.

“I like the age,” Harig said. “Every year makes such a difference in someone’s life. I also think part of it for me was that I loved high school so much, so it’s very rewarding to watch it over and over again, decade after decade.”

Caroline Goff, senior, said she built a strong friendship with Harig during her sophomore AP World History class. Goff said she enjoyed how he was able to connect with his students by sharing personal anecdotes and stories.

“He really developed my love for history and made me want to pursue a history major in college,” Goff said. “The way he showed his love for history and applied it to his teaching made me realize how prevalent history still is and how much I love it.”

Claire Cowan, sophomore, has Harig for AP World History. She said although she will not miss his AP homework packets, she will miss his interesting perspectives.

“You never know what is going to come out of his mouth,” Cowan said. “He can go from talking about his college days at the University of Kansas, to talking about how he can see the Mediterranean Sea from his bedroom window in Tunisia, to talking about his wife who calls him ‘Teem.’”

As Harig laughs about the story about his nickname, he said before he and his wife met in person, Nabila called his parent’s home trying to track him down. When they answered the phone, she asked if she could talk to “Teem.”

“My parents found it funny,” Harig said. “Eventually this woman became my wife and she still calls me ‘Teem’. I even have a jersey that says ‘Teem’ on the back so now her whole side of the family calls me that too.”

With Tunisia on their minds, Harig and his wife plan to leave the U.S. permanently at the end of the 2017-2018 school year. Harig said if everything falls into place, they’ll leave with no hesitations.

“The only thing that would keep us here any longer is the health of my mom and sister,” Harig said. “As much as my wife and I enjoy our lives in Tunisia, her and I both understand that family is what has to come before anything.”