Out with a bang

Science teacher Robin Huggins wins Teacher of the Year


Courtesy of Allen Leonard

Principal Allen Leonard stands with the recently awarded Teacher of the Year Robin Huggins. Previously a biologist, Huggins found a passion for teaching high school students.

On Wednesday, science teacher Robin Huggins was announced as the 2021-2022 Teacher of the Year.

Huggins has been at Starr’s Mill for 15 years. She teaches environmental science, anatomy, chemistry, and epidemiology, while also coaching the swim and tennis teams.

Huggins had no desire to pursue teaching when she was younger. Her ninth-grade algebra teacher recommended that she pursue teaching, where Huggins flattened the idea. 

It took me 15 years, but I am finally going to graduate high school.

— Teacher of the Year Robin Huggins

“I thought it was a prison sentence,” Huggins said.

Starting off as a biologist, her passion for teaching took her another direction. Huggins started teaching in Mobile, Alabama, at Christ the King Catholic School, where she taught middle school students science and religion. 

Huggins approaches teaching with an open mind and heart, and she loves going to students’ sporting events, concerts, and other extracurricular events. She credits her patience with raising children of her own and stressed the importance of genuine relationships with her kids. With this philosophy, she desires to make her classroom a “safe space” for all students. 

“If kids know you care about them, they will do so much more for you,” Huggins said. “Don’t demand. Treat them with respect and like young adults.”

Online schooling and the newer concept of Zoom affected her teaching plans in 2020.  Huggins said that due to declining student engagement, she knew that she had to do something to keep her kids engaged.  She “…came to school and got a bucket of brains and dissecting tools [and] dissected a brain on [her] back patio table.” 

This school year is Huggins’ last year at the Mill, and she’s planning on ending it strong. In retirement, she plans to enjoy the company of her two new grandsons and husband, who recently retired.

“It took me 15 years, but I am finally going to graduate high school,” Huggins said.