Mr. Ricke says goodbye to East after three years as an economics teacher


Photo by Cady Blackstock

Mr. Ricke, East economics and world history teacher, is leaving East after this school year to work in a more financial-heavy job.

Mr. Ricke is described as a very laid back teacher who has made his mark at East through his students. So much so that he did a card trick at his job interview with Mr. Bell, East’s associate principal. Ricke has been an economics and world history teacher at East for the last three years but is leaving at the end of the year to work in a more economics heavy job.
Ricke believes that he will be missed most by some of East’s seniors and juniors. “My first year, I taught quite a few sections of World History so I saw them in that stage and then with my Economics class, I saw them in [their] junior and senior years,” Ricke said.
Ricke and his wife are moving back to Des Moines, Iowa, where he will be working for an accounting firm called RSM in the wealth management division. He will help business owners with financial decisions like how to sell their business in the most financially efficient way. “I will be helping a lot with their investments, and just those different pieces of it,” Ricke said.
In the three years that Ricke has lived in Lincoln, he has made many relationships with different couples. Some of those couples overlap with his colleagues like Mr. Kolbo who is one of his good friends in and out of the school. “I am just really close because we hang with them every Sunday afternoon,” Ricke said.
He is going to miss the little things like eating lunch with Mr. Matzke every day and especially Mrs. Cassata. “She just leads this building, leads this staff, so well,” Ricke said. “I feel like at every other place of employment I have worked at, behind the scenes, the teachers or whoever, the restaurant I worked at, or the financial firms I have been at, you talk about your boss a little but I have never heard that here.”
Ricke has a tradition in his economics classes that every other Friday, they do Financial Friday. They take a break from normal classwork to talk about their own finances. The classes discuss many topics like how investing works, how does it happen, or how it functions. “Every single time I have done my Financial Fridays, you can just see this interest in kids that you just have not seen before and they kind of laugh,” Ricke said. “That energizes me and gets me kind of pumped up about it myself.”

As the school year comes to an end, Ricke is preparing to make the move. He will be missed by East staff and students. “I always make the joke, and one of my favorite things is if you check my syllabus at the very bottom, it says that if anybody who took my economics class that becomes a millionaire, I am going to take part in that and they owe me a stake, it is in my syllabus,” Ricke said.