After 13 Years, Spiers Bids Farewell to SJHHS

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Alyssa Morrone

After 13 years of teaching at SJHHS, Spiers is retiring to travel and spend more time with family.

After nearly 30 years teaching, 13 of those at SJHHS, Robert Spiers is retiring. 

Surprisingly, the renowned AP European History teacher actually didn’t start his career in the social studies department. Instead, it was his love for sports that first got him involved in the education system as a student teacher and soccer coach at San Clemente high school. 

“I did a lot of outdoor pursuits like kayaking, sailing, mountain climbing, backpacking, and I really enjoyed working with young people and I decided that’s what I wanted to do as a career,” said Spiers. 

In addition to his own interests in becoming an educator, it was also the influence of Spiers’ wife, a teacher herself, that encouraged Spiers to get into the field.

“When I came to America, I met Mrs.Spiers and fell in love and got married to her. She was a teacher, and teaching appealed to me because of what I saw her do.” 

From San Clemente high school, Spiers then went on to Marco Forster Middle where he taught World History for 16 years. It was this early switch from a soccer coach to history teacher that paved his career into the social studies field. From there, he continued his occupation to later become an AP European History teacher at San Juan Hills high school.

After teaching at SJHHS for the past 13 years, recent news of his retirement confirms that the 2021-2022 school year will be Spiers’ last as an educator. 

I like to be involved in the life of the school, not just the life of the classroom, because school, to me, is about so much more than just your classroom,”

— Robert Spiers

“I think the thing I will miss most is just the daily interaction with young people, just having a laugh, having a joke, telling a story, trying to teach something, seeing young people do well,” said Spiers.

Spiers considers 61 (and a half) the optimum year for a retirement, and now as he is 62, he is officially bidding farewell to the school and is putting his teaching career to a close. Spiers will be missing the faculty and teachers at SJHHS as well as the students, but as a local to the area, he plans to always be involved with SJHHS. 

 

“I like to be involved in the life of the school, not just the life of the classroom, because school, to me, is about so much more than just your classroom,” said Spiers.

Mrs.Spiers also has plans to retire in the following year, so this 2021-2022 school session will be the last time SJHHS has both the Spiers on school grounds. 

“I think it’s important that older teachers, especially like myself at 62, sometimes need to just step aside and make room for younger teachers,” said Spiers.

Spiers hopes that his students will keep working toward their aspirations, and encourages them to practice despite the possibility of failure. He also hopes for them to seize the day, and to always grasp at opportunities.

“We always want to get onto the next thing, especially when we are younger: What’s our next challenge? What’s our next adventure? But enjoy the adventure you are in right now. Make what we are doing right now meaningful,” said Spiers.

Although Mr. Spiers is retiring, his 13 years teaching here are a time that everyone–students, teachers, and faculty alike– won’t forget. His time in the classroom has come to an end, but who knows? Perhaps stallions need to be on the lookout at sports games, as there might be a new face under the Stanley costume.