The Last Ride

The Last Ride

          When you think of one, you think of the other. A dynamic duo like Batman and Robin. A classic combination like peanut butter and jelly. Best friends like Buzz and Woody. At Hempfield, we have two people who fit all three of those combinations, they are a classic combination, a dynamic duo, and best friends – Mr. Stauffer and Mr. Soff. 

          For the past thirteen years at 6:17a.m, Soff and Stauffer are already at the Harmer Target to meet up and then depart for school, alternating drivers each week. They start their mornings off by ALWAYS listening to The Beatles on their way to school. Mr. Stauffer explains that “Mr. Soff’s  advice on wide ranging topics like parenting, financial planning, and teaching have helped shape me through the years.  Our rides are very therapeutic. He is like a second dad to me.”

           As many students know, Mr. Soff is retiring after the 2023-2024 school year, “Our daily therapy sessions are something I looked forward to,” said Soff. “And something I will really miss.” 

          How they ended up together in a carpool situation is as interesting as the car ride itself. Back in 2011,  Mr. Stauffer had to give up his passion of coaching varsity basketball to care for his newborn son. When Mr. Soff heard the news that Stauffer would no longer have any more after school commitments, he quickly asked Mr. Stauffer if they could ride to school together since they live in the same area, forty minutes from the high school. What started in the fall as just a ride share, has turned into not only a financial crutch, but a therapeutic session for these teachers to prepare for the day ahead and debrief on the day just completed. Mr. Soff explains “Even though I’m not a math teacher, I calculate we’ve spent over 3000 hours together, talking about our families, politics, music, school, and life.” 

          As the boys still have a few more weeks left together, Mr. Stauffer is very upset that these past thirteen years of car rides, filled with the best advice and memories, have to come to an end. Mr. Stauffer states that “I’ve been lucky to share 80 minutes of my day with him for 13 years.” 

          According to Mr. Stauffer, his friendship with Mr. Soff has made a lasting impression on him. “As The Beatles sang…“I get by with a little help from my friends.”  And Mr. Soff is one of those friends.” 

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