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I wrote a piece for the Every Royal’s Voice blog more than a year ago that outlined our school’s exceptional teachers and their efforts to keep Hinckley-Big Rock an exceptional school. Looking back on it now as I prepare to make my final exit from HBR, I feel the same if even more strongly.  

High school is a challenging time for students everywhere; it takes a strong support system to get us through it all. In Hinckley-Big Rock, I have always felt the teachers hold a strong role in this. 

In our little school, everyone knows everything about everyone. Sometimes this poses a disadvantage; however, it allows for some unique benefits as well. The proximity means that students can look to the teachers for support and guidance as they feel that much closer to them. Every teacher sees every student not just as another kid but as an individual. Likewise, students are able to see their teachers as the wise mentors they are, but also as unique people with their own strengths, struggles, and personalities. It is through these circumstances that authentic connections and trust can be formed between the two.

Throughout everything we’ve been through these past few years, our teachers have stayed strong, their support for students never so much as wavering. The personal bonds we have created with our teachers were forged in the fires of unprecedented challenges such as the pandemic and the confusing recovery in the wake of its aftermath. Bonds such as these mean everything to a person, adding to their identity as a person and allowing them to grow in fantastic new ways. 

However, I don’t believe this to be the exclusive result of a small school. Our teaching staff have always been incredible. The halls are entirely filled with the best of the best who derive their motivation from their passion for teaching and their love of their students. Every staff member would do anything just to see one of their students succeed, and this is an incredibly rare quality to be cherished.

While we have faced instability and hardships in our world, I know my fellow students and I recognize and appreciate the staff here. Without them and their love, HBR would not be the school it is today.

~ Della Harrod - HBRHS Class of 2023 Valedictorian