BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — After 59 years of teaching Kern County students, a retired high school teacher went back to school for a surprise.

“I knew there was going to be something today, but all this was a little bit overwhelming.”

Bob Zeimet retired from Garces Memorial High School just before the beginning of the school year. Students and staff held a surprise ceremony to thank him for his nearly six decades of teaching.

Zeimet also taught at West High School for 34 years and Liberty High School before teaching at Garces.

Garces students formed rows outside the retirement ceremony to cheer and high-five this much loved teacher officially into retirement.

He said being a teacher was always gratifying.

“You never know how you’re affecting people. When I hear from people several years ago how I had affected them and as a teacher is gratifying. Because 99% of your students when they graduate you never see them or hear from them again and you’re hoping well I hope they turned out okay and use what they learn.”

During Monday’s retirement celebration, Zeimet was given a proclamation from Assemblymember Vince Fong’s office recognizing his 59 years of teaching.

Fong was a student of Zeimet’s at West High School. Zeimet said since retiring he has been busy volunteering, gardening and doing a little running.