Craig Conrad, Moffat County High School woodshop teacher, is yearning for a larger classroom.
In addition to teaching woodcrafts at the high school, Conrad gives presentations to students across the nation in the "Unstoppable You" program, an inspirational speaking project he started in 1994.
When he started the program, Conrad set a goal to reach 1 million people. To date, he estimates he's spoken to about 100,000 people, or one-tenth of his target.
Conrad had a choice: Stay with the status quo, or develop his program and supplement his income by working on a ranch in northern Routt county.
He chose the latter.
After his last class is dismissed this year, he plans to take "Unstoppable You" on the road fulltime.
"I gave my resignation up here, but I'm not really retiring," he said, adding that he formally resigned from his position Monday. "I'm looking at it like I'm expanding my classroom.
"I love my job here. I love the kids. : I got paid for 26 years to teach my hobby."
Instead, Conrad said, he was compelled to extend the program to as many students as he could.
"I felt that more kids other than my kids needed to hear the lessons of 'Unstoppable You,'" he said.
Conrad includes a sampling of those lessons in his recently published book, "Unstoppable!"
Lifetime Chronicle Press, a company in Montrose, published the book, which contains 58 stories, or "lessons."
The stories in the book, such as the "Unstoppable You" program, originated in Conrad's classroom.
When he began teaching at the high school, school officials gave him a task.
"They gave me one year to turn the (woodshop) program around or they were going to shut it down," he said.
So, he began telling stories to his students at the end of each week.
And not just any stories - real-life tales that taught values, Conrad said, including honesty, integrity, and living drug- and alcohol-free.
Over time, the subject of Conrad's stories changed.
Where once the stories were parables of sorts, they later focused on the students themselves.
Keeping the stories fresh wasn't always easy.
"The hardest part for my senior (students) is trying to come up with a new and different Friday story," he said. "They've heard them all.
"To wow them with a story on a Friday - that was doing something."
In addition to the Friday story series, Conrad also started two other traditions at the high school.
A mass production class, allowing students to sell and manufacture wood crafts, earned needed funds for the program when it was in dire financial straits. "Santa's Workshop," an annual event, provides area children with hand-crafted toys made by students.
"I really appreciated through the years the support that the woodshop received from the town through the mass production and Santa's Workshop" programs, he said. "This program would never have been what it got to be without support from the community."
Conrad said he will miss his students when he leaves regular classroom teaching after this year, adding that he will especially miss telling his students weekly stories.
Still, he doesn't consider his resignation as an end to his career as a teacher.
"I'm not leaving teaching," he said. "I'm starting a new venture, and I'm not thinking it's going to be easy.
"It's cool at the same time, too."