Farewell, Mr. Wanner

As the semester closes, the long-time gym teacher retires, along with his cherished “Wannerisms”


Upon his retirement, Mr. Wanner declined an interview with The Uproar, but an unidentified Uproar photographer caught a glimpse of the veteran gym teacher in the pool area.

Tyler Boyles, Staff Writer

Not only will the 2nd 9-weeks bring an end to the first semester, but it also marks the end to the long and legendary career of physical education teacher Mr. Wanner, who has worked at NA for 26 and a half years. He was recognized before the 2017-2018 school year for his 25 years of service. 

Wanner went to school at North Allegheny and graduated in 1978. He was on the wrestling team during his school years and frequently wore wrestling sweatshirts and t-shirts during his tenure in the Physical Education Department. 

Wanner was best known for “Wannerisms,” quick and quirky replies he’d developed over his years of working with students in gym class, “Time for a wrasslin’ workout” being one of many such cherished phrases.

“He is pretty witty for an old guy,” senior RJ Swanson said. “I will definitely miss his jokes.”

Among other beloved Wannerisms were “Don’t be a-scared late, guys” when students waltzed in behind schedule, and his famous avoid-the-swear-word-by-stopping-right-in-the-middle-of-it-and-replacing-it-with-a-word-more-appropriate. While teaching the tennis unit, he used the classic slogan, “Low to high, wave goodbye.”  An all-time classic was “Don’t go thinking on me, son.”  Perhaps the most iconic was “Don’t worry about it.  It’s just a gym grade.”

Though he presented a hilarious personality, it came with many mysteries. Wanner was never much for the spotlight.  He declined an interview with The Uproar and rarely, if ever, appeared in an NATV video. His teacher website bio lacks a single word.

Despite being a jokester, Wanner took his job very seriously by serving as program director for North Allegheny’s Lifetime Activities for seven years. Lifetime Activities is responsible for bringing rock climbing to the school, along with canoeing, kayaking, backpacking, caving, mountain biking and cross-country skiing. Wanner’s legacy will include bringing an active lifestyle to the student masses and giving back.

But his entertaining persona in class will likely be remembered best.


“Mr. Wanner always brought a great attitude and added lots of levity to the class,” Nate Gierczynski said. “I will miss him.” 

Senior Mike Bruzinski had Mr. Wanner during his junior year and is sorry to see him leave.

“He made boating and swimming so much better for me,” Bruzinski said. “He is just a great guy.”

That says a lot, considering that swimming is usually students’ least favorite part of gym class.

Audric Pastor also enjoyed the gym teacher’s humorous style.

“That funny man will be missed,” he said. “He never failed to make me laugh.”

So thank you, Mr. Wanner, for the laughs and happiness you brought to the teachers and students here at NASH. Farewell. We wish you the best. #59.5%.

Oh, and we actually were able to squeeze a quote out of the man before he left NASH for the last time.

“I’m finally graduating,” he said.