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September 29, 2011     Lovell Chronicle
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6 I The Lovell Chronicle I September 29, 2011 Three former students return home to teach, coach BY DAVID PECK Can you come home again? Three new teachers in Lovell are saying an emphatic "yes" to that age-old question as they con- tinue their teaching careers in the commu- nity where they went to school. Daniel Robertson and Bob Weber are teaching at Lovell High School, from which they graduated in 2000, and Tobee Chris- tiansen, though a 1996 Rocky Mountain High School grad, is following in the foot- steps of his late father, Gerry Christiansen, to teach at Lovell Middle School. Robertson is also following in his father Kevin's footsteps, teaching literally in the same science classroom where his father taught, though the room has been remod- eled since Daniel graduated, a job overseen by father Kevin, who shockingly died of hantavirus in July of 2003. Daniel grew up in the Big Horn Ba- sin, living in Burlington, where Kevin taught, until the family moved to Lovell at the start of the 1991-92 school year, when Daniel started fourth grade. He continued through the Lovell schools until his gradu- ation in 2000. Interestingly, Robertson and Weber were good friends in high school, where both of the excelled in athletics. "There was kind of a core group of us, and Bob was one of them," Robertson said. Added Weber, "We ran around in the same circle of friends. We were pretty good buds." Robertson moved on to the University of Wyoming, where he said he spent "an in- ordinate amount of time" before graduat- ing in 2007. "It got to do everything I wanted to do in Laramie," he said. "I coached football and track and taught freshman biology (at Laramie schools). So I got to teach and coach." Meanwhile, he earned a bachelor's de- gree in mathematics and science, graduat- ing in 2007. He took a teaching job in Filer, Idaho, near Twin Falls, became certified to teach and taught physical science and biol- ogy for four years. He also coached football for four years and girls basketball for one year. He was the assistant wrestling coach for a year and the head coach for two years. He also coached track. At Lovell, Robertson excelled in football as a receiver and defensive back, in wres- tling and in track and field, running the 400- and 1,600-meter relays and the open 400, 100 and 200. He also pole-vaulted. Robertson said he is thrilled to be back Daniel Robertson Bob Weber in his hometown, where he has been hired to teach chemistry and physical science. "I'm a Wyoming boy," he said. "I just wanted to get back to Wyoming. It doesn't matter where you live. It's all one big town. I was hoping to get something in the basin, and I was happy to get to come to Lovell. "This is better than I would have imag- ined." Emotionally, Robertson said he has done a pretty good job separating himself from the emotions of returning to the school where his father taught, but he said there are reminders of his dad everywhere. "I keep finding places where he signed his initials (KPR)," he said. "He had a ten- dency to do that." For instance, Daniel found KPR scrawled in a cupboard and inside a desk drawer. "That hit home a little bit," he said. "I got a little more emotional about it, find- ing things with his name on it or with his handwriting on it. I've had a tough time throwing stuff away." Filling his father's rather large shoes is daunting, Daniel said, but is a "nice goal to have." "Right now I'm hoping to be half as good a teacher as he was," Robertson said. Asked about his style, Robertson said he borrows from good teachers he had growing up. "Every good teacher is just a good pla- giarist," he said. 'You take the teacher you admire most as a kid and just copy them. I use a mixture of my dad, a little of Mr. (Mike) Greenlee, and Mr. (Gus) Gerhardt. My dad built a lot of his teaching style after Mr. Gerhardt. "My mannerisms are similar (to my dad's), I hear." Besides teaching science, Robertson is also coaching at LHS. He is the junior var- sity coach and the "eye in the sky" for the varsity football team, he will be the head wrestling coach and he will coach pole- vaulters and sprinters on the track team. "I'm kind of military in my coaching style," he said. "I'm a yeller, which is good and bad." Overall, he is just happy to be home, near some of his siblings and his mother, Brenda Simmons. WEBER RETURNS Bob Weber moved to Lovell in 1994 with his parents, Duane and LuAnn We- ber. He started his seventh-grade year at Lovell Middle School and graduated with Robertson in 2000. Duane Weber was the LDS seminary teacher at the time. Like Robertson, Weber was a three- sport athlete, excelling in football as a line- backer and flanker, in basketball as a for- ward and in track as a jumper, winning the state triple jump title. He is teaching Spanish at LHS. Weber served a two-year mission in Ar- gentina, which, he said, "got me into Span- ish." He served in the northeastern part of the country near Paraguay, seeing a lot of remote, rural areas with very poor people, many of them indigenous. Once home, he married Danielle :Bas- sett and the newlyweds moved to Laramie, where he earned a BA Degree in second- ary Spanish education from UW in 2007. The Webers moved to Logan, Utah, where Bob earned a master's degree in second language teaching, finishing in December of 2008. Weber landed a job in Goshen County for the 2009-10 school year, teaching Span- ish at Torrington and Lingle-Ft. Laramie schools for two years. He is now teaching Spanish at LHS, as well as an English as a Second Language component for five stu- dents - English language learners - at Lovell Elementary School. The program gives certain students a chance to hone their English language skills so they can succeed in the classroom. Like Robertson, Weber is glad to be home. "I've always claimed Lovell as home, and having married a Lovell girl, it was al- ways a goal to get back here," he said. "I've always kept my eye out." Bob and Danielle Weber have one daughter, Addie, who will be 2 in October, and they are expecting their second child, due in March. "It's been great," he said. "This still feels like home. I feel very welcome in the com- munity and at school among the staff and students. It just feels right to be back." Asked about his teaching style, Weber said he uses a communicative approach to teaching Spanish, a practical use of the language. See 'NEW TEACHERS' page 7 .................. NORTH BIG HORN HOSPITAL CLINIC ] 11.5 Lane 12 m Lovll, WY 8243 ] JL ,lime. : : .... riskeXam andascreening. [,  d ........................... Free Concert Award winning recording artist Pet 1 'Wh' b'rcl er _ewes 00t:eJ Sunday, Oct. 2, 2011 at 6 p.m. Lovell Bible Church Join us for an evening with Peter Lewis Whitebird, an American Native as he shares his life story. An award winning Christian country .... music singer, Peter's songs and stories have inspired thou- sands to find a better fife. ;!!i:!iiii;iiii!i for the 00rey Englert family 3riday, Sept. 30 4-?pm Horn 00ederal conference roorn !! proceeds will go to the Englert family! iLpADA Life in .,. Live Get started on your holiday shopping and help out a local family at the same time. Refreshments Door prizes Drawings Hosted Cind00 00llred Can't make the party? You can still place an order and have it credited to the Englert family. Call Cindy, 272-5393, leave msg. r'l big Tkank o to all tke peol;le who kave alread? donated to tkis benefit. F'I lull list o/donors will be available t tke tart!