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Riewer retires after 34 years at Bertha-Hewitt


by Trinity Gruenberg

    Math Teacher, Activities Director and Baseball Coach Steve Riewer retired from the Bertha-Hewitt School after 34 years of service to the district. 

    His entire career was spent at teaching 7-12 math and coaching at Bertha-Hewitt. 

    The Bagley native was inspired to become a math teacher after finding it enjoyable to help his friends with their math homework. 

    “It worked for me and it was enjoyable,” said Riewer.

    Wishing to stay close to home, Riewer had relatives in the Staples area, and wanted to teach in an area of the state that had an active amateur baseball league so he could play baseball again.

    “It was here or further south, and this was closer to home,” explained Riewer. 

    He has also coached baseball in some capacity every year except two, which included summer rec, junior high, assistant coach and head coach.

    The first nine years of coaching, he was the head coach. As his family grew, he backed off to spend time with them. When Bertha-Hewitt paired with Verndale in 2011 for baseball, he stepped back into the head coaching position. 

    His mentors at the school included Bob Sieling, Dick Finck, Dave Zirbes and Dale Erickson,     

    “Even though they didn’t teach math, they were teachers and coaches that had a big influence on me,” said Riewer.

    During his career he has been awarded Teacher of the Year at the school and Assistant Coach of the Year for state Class A by the Coaches Association. 

    He spent 34 years at a job he never applied for. 

    “I never noticed the opening at Bertha-Hewitt. I applied at Verndale. Chuck Marjoram[Bertha-Hewitt’s principal] had called me and asked if I would be interested in interviewing at Bertha-Hewitt,” said Riewer.

    After checking the map for Bertha-Hewitt’s location, he agreed to the interview and stopped at the school on the way back from another interview. Riewer learned that Verndale had selected another candidate and they had sent Riewer’s information to Bertha-Hewitt.

    “I did the interview and I was ready to never come back. . . .

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