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Faculty Focus: Mr. Mike Hester

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“Good morning!” Whether you are in lower, middle, or high school, if you run into Mr. Hester in the morning, this warm welcome does not discriminate! A beloved math teacher here at RMA for the past sixteen years, the impact Mr. Hester has had on his students is one that cannot be matched. As his unconventional, yet hilarious, sense of humor pairs with his math expertise, it is not a surprise that his students love him. Senior Davis Collins comments, “Mr. Hester is probably one of the funniest teachers I’ve ever had, and he always tells me good morning regardless of the time of day. I wish I could have him for more classes.”

Before he came to work at RMA, Mr. Hester worked in the Nash-Rocky Mount Public School system. In fact, Mr. Hester even taught my father when he was in high school! Besides Mr. Hester’s expertise in math, he is also very talented in the arts. Not only does he do amazing visual artwork, but he plays the guitar and ukulele! Moving to a more serious note, Mr. Hester is the faculty leader of the student Honor Council, which is a group of high school students who listen to disciplinary infractions and then decide an appropriate punishment. Just as Mr. Hester has shown, the mark of a great teacher is one that can be equally serious and funny. Senior Cameron Cross reiterates this idea saying, “Mr. Hester is one of the funniest people I have ever met in my life, and he incorporates his humor perfectly into his teaching. Several of the concepts he taught us I remember just because he associated something funny with it. One time in the middle of teaching he just turned off the lights and made us all remember exactly what he was talking about. He is an amazing teacher, and he will be missed when he retires next year.”

While I’ve never had the pleasure of having Mr. Hester as a teacher, I did get to go to his room one day in junior year when he was the substitute for my class. The first thing I noticed were the two rules written on his board: (1) don’t make any noise (2) don’t get on my nerves. I think that was the first moment that I truly realized how much anyone who has not had Mr. Hester as a teacher would be missing out on. Students not only love Mr. Hester for his teaching abilities, but also for his genuinely kind, caring, and hilarious personality. Senior Johnhenry Wirman says, “Mr. Hester is very Funny, and he makes the good tunes out of his uke. I 10/10 would learn from Hesty.” Although we wish Mr. Hester a wonderful retirement next year, the students at RMA cannot help but feel a small space that will never truly be filled the same way.

 

To learn more about Mr. Hester, please read the interview below!

  1. How long have you been working at RMA? This is my sixteenth year at RMA. I taught in Nash County Schools for 32 years before coming here.
  2. We know this is unfortunately your last year at RMA. What are your plans once you retire? I plan to retire to the beach and spend as much time as possible with my son, his wife, and my granddaughter.
  3. Do you have any secret talents or abilities that people don’t know about? It’s probably not a secret, but I play guitar and ukulele and I like to draw and paint. What people may not know is that I have a collection of model trains, I like to do woodworking, and I was in the antique business for 10 years restoring furniture mainly and doing shows.
  4. What is your best memory from your school days? My best memory from school is meeting my wife during my junior year. She proved to be a major, positive influence. We will have been married 50 years in August.
  5. What is your favorite song to listen to? I enjoy listening to any of the early Beatles songs, old rock and roll, blues, and Kidzbop with my granddaughter.
  6. I know you were an art teacher at what point. Who is your favorite artist? I especially like seeing the work of and reading about Leonardo da Vinci because of his contributions to art as well as his insight into nature and engineering.
  7. What is the best piece of advice that you’ve ever received? It does matter what people think of you.
  8. What is your favorite thing to do in your freetime? All of the above and… some sitting doing nothing but thinking.
  9. What has been the most satisfying accomplishment in your life? I am thankful that I have been able to stay in education for this long. It has been a rewarding career and I will miss it.
  10. If you could somehow see your sixteen-year-old self today, what would you say to him and why? Poor judgement is usually called a mistake after the fact. Learn not to repeat your “mistakes.”
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Faculty Focus: Mr. Mike Hester