Since that first day of PE, You believed in #7
So, I believed in me.
Thanks, Mr. Hunter - steve
What follows is what was printed in the program when Miller's gym was named after him on June 6, 1999.
Robert N. Hunter began his illustrious teaching career in 1960 at Joaquin Miller Junior High in the Cupertino Union School District. He was a young man of 28, who, before coming to Miller was a First Lieutenant in the Armed Forces, Infantry Division.
During his 39 years as a physical education teacher and coach at Miller, he became something of a local legend. The number of students who benefited from his untiring dedications easily reaches into the thousands.
Besides helping to run an incredibly successful after-school sports program, he was a mentor and a friend. The friendships that developed between him and his students have endured long after they've left Miller. He was always available to help and support students and ex-students at anytime of the day or night--at school and at home. Visits from students and ex-students are still never a surprise, but always a pleasure. His wife told us that her husband's proudest possession is the stack of letters he has received over the years, in that they attest to the fact that he has been instrumental in helping students to do and be their best, not just in athletics, but in the world.
His own achievements are remarkable. He helped found Cupertino's remedial physical education program for students with permanent or temporary physical disabilities. He received the PTA's Honorary Service Award in 1976, Miller's yearbook was dedicated to him in 1980, and he was California's Junior High School Coach of the Year in 1980 and 1994.
His most prized award, however, comes from former students who, after four years at Lynbrook High School, named him the most influential teacher they had encountered in their twelve years of schooling. One of these students went so far as to donate $5,000 to Miller's Physical Education program and others contributed money for new wrestling uniforms.
Finally, when he retired, Miller's new gym was named the Hunter gym in his honor.
HUNTER'S HELPING HAND STORY BY JACQUELINE CATHCART
HE REACHES out his large hand and grasps a small one. The strength is transferred. And in this exchange a blind child swims; a boy who couldn’t tie his shoes is on the trampoline; another in a leg cast bowls; a potential dropout has a good time at school.
The man who provides and nourishes this kind of magic is Robert Hunter, Coordinator for the Adaptive Physical Education Program of the Cupertino Union School District, funded by the State of California. He believes that every kid should be “King of a Mountain:’ He must find what mountain, what mountain he can climb. And Mr. Hunter intends these special children will reach the top, and each feel that moment of triumph.
BOB HUNTER came to the school district ten years ago, a young P.E. teacher in search of a job. A graduate of Tuskegee Institute, Alabama, he remembered his days in the service, and how much he liked the San Jose area. So why not move his family to California! He quickly earned the respect of students and parents with his positive attitude about what young people could achieve and a determination to see that they did, One boy sums it up “He’s tough but he’s fair,” He inspired his boys to perform to capacity and to feel important as young men. He uses these same talents now in an unusual physical education program “adapted” to boys and girls with particular needs.
THE PROGRAM is designed to “meet individual needs” arising from polio, heart conditions, asthma, allergies, inferiority, discipline, injured muscles, problems both major and minor. No P.E sit-outs here Mr. Hunter hurries to explain, “We don’t have any discipline problems in this class” Such problems tend to diminish when you help someone else with a more obvious problem where there is little competition, where the goal is like yourself, and when you know you are liked.
Kids need a boost of confidence” It carries over into all their schoolwork. And he tells of a child whose success has promoted a three-year improvement in reading in the last year
For only the positive is emphasized. No one is forced, no grades involved. The idea is to offer the child something he wants to do, to get exercise from activity, to learn a skill he can use in later life, to have fun doing something he likes,
THE PERSONAL magnetism of the man inspires this kind of desire, “You can do it. Want to ride a bike? You want archery today? O.K.” And if it means setting up the archery equipment for just one, it gets done. If it’s important to the student, it’s important to Mr. Hunter.
It took six to eight weeks to get a blind child in the swimming pool, One day he seized a hand and ran through the water, laughed and squealed, delighted, living! He now goes down the slide in the pool, a boy who couldn’t manage before.
More coming, stay tuned ... LIKE our Facebook page by clicking LIKE at top of this page.