CHASKA, Minn. (KMSP) - It's fitting for the Bachman family to be accepting a Top Teacher award at a baseball diamond. Larry Bachman was a former baseball player and coach, served in the National Guard, Army Reserves, along with being a history and psychology teacher at Chaska High School for more than 25 years.
“I don't think as a teacher if you always realize what an impact you've made on a child's life,” said Beth Costello, a parent who had three children taught by Mr. Bachman.
Costello's son Tommy became the closest to Bachman during his own battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2012.
“When he came back to school the next day and walked into Mr. Bachman's class, Mr. Bachman had shaved his head and was sitting at his desk and said 'Now you are not going to be the only one who shaved your head,'” Costello said.
At age 53, Bachman was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He died 6 weeks later. Many were in disbelief.
“I think all of us were really in shock,” said former student Connor Ploen. “I think we are getting better as a school, but it definitely hit people harder than others.”
Thursday evening, Bachman was recognized as a Fox 9 Top Teacher during the Chaska baseball team's annual Strike Out Cancer fundraiser. His wife, children and grandchild were there to accept the award and throw out the first pitch.
“He was fortunate to see the love and affection from his school community and his community," said Bachman’s wife, Serene. “And he was absolutely blown away by it."
In addition to the Top Teacher Award, Royal Credit Union also awarded Bachman’s school with a $900 check. Chaska High School has already decided the money will be donated toward cancer research.