Robert Hillier is an amazing science teacher at Sunset Jr. High School. This year he celebrates 30 years teaching and has no desire to retire because he loves what he does so much. Although he has had opportunities for advancement and higher paying jobs, he stays in the junior high because he says this is the place where the students “make it or break it” in school.
Along with teaching his regular classes, Mr. Hillier has advised student body officers, he coached the wrestling team (even letting them shave off his famous beard when his team won the championship one year), and leads the Mesa club. He has visited and tutored students at their homes and at the hospital when they were unable attend school. Even now he regularly organizes star parties on Antelope Island to excite young students about Astronomy.
One year Mr. Hillier had a student who came from a particularly rough family background. He would come to school and take out his aggression on his classmates, then get suspended. After repeating this cycle several times, Mr. Hillier pulled the kid aside and said, “Enough. Come with me.” He added this student to the wrestling team so he could focus his anger in a positive outlet. Years later this young man has cleaned up his life and is now serving in the US Military. Not long ago, he showed up on Mr. Hiller’s doorstep and said, “You saved my life.”
Please consider Mr. Hillier for the Teacher Feature award. He is a truly deserving teacher. I know this because he didn’t just affect my life for a year or two, but for the past 28 years he has been teaching me to love science and value education. You see, he’s also my Dad.
Carrie Lynn Hillier Plastow