The bad news about the resignation of Hillsboro High School/Middle School Principal Greg Zimmerman is the fact that we are losing him. The good news is that we have an entire school year to find a suitable replacement, but it won’t be easy.
Most people in town think of him as an administrator, but you would be surprised how many still think of him first as being a very innovative Social Studies teacher.
My daughters enjoyed his classes for that very fact. He accomplished something that most teachers seek, but very few accomplish.
Simply stated, he made learning fun!
Here’s an example that I have always admired.
When faced with a difficult section of U.S. History, he devised a method that kept students interested…he taught it backwards!
He would begin at a time closer to their memories and travel backward in time, perhaps making it a bit more challenging, but a lot more familiar.
Another of his clever ways of making classes more enjoyable, in addition to another key component. He played music that was popular at the time being studied.
I know all about that because I had gathered quite a collection of 33 rpm record albums (Ask your parents what that was!). Greg used to stop by the house and pick out some “golden oldies” that pertained to something he wanted to make a point about in class.
The students got a kick out of hearing music from another world that somehow had a link to history.
Like most news journalists, I share a strong interest in the past, and many times “stayed after class” swapping memories and beliefs from the past in Greg’s office after school hours.
I’ve already been promised some office “gab time” for a future column, and I’m going to hold him to it.
At the School Board meeting there was quite a discussion on the possible development of a parent/fan Code of Conduct that could be put into effect in conjunction with sports activities attended by Tiger fans.
We’ve all felt a bit queasy over the loud comments by overzealous fans and, perhaps, the time has come for a more structured rule on fan behavior.
One thing is for sure. Tiger coaches would more than welcome that kind of movement in the future. Apparently, Baraboo has started some rules in that direction that were discussed at the Board meeting.
It took me back a number of years to when Jane and I had daughters playing for the Lady Tigers in several sports. Like most parents, of course, we thought our girls never came close to goofing up!
That all came to an end one night while driving home after a visiting game. We were blaming a loss on practically everyone except, of course, our daughter, who shall remain nameless in this column.
She sat silently while bursting inside listening to our commentary on the reasons we lost, until I mentioned some decision by the coach pertaining to our daughter.
She loudly replied, “Now, that’s enough. I think he made a good decision. And, if I ever hear either one of you criticize any coach on any team that I’m playing on again, I promise you without any hesitation, I will turn in my uniform the following day!”
End of conversation!
We never did that again, but we learned a darn good lesson, and I have never forgotten it. We sure were proud of her!
We can all feel proud and grateful to thank each and every one of them.