The Departure of Jim Denner

Jim Denner shown posing for a picture during his 5th hour human anatomy class. Picture taken by Maddie Woods(12)

Jim Denner shown posing for a picture during his 5th hour human anatomy class. Picture taken by Maddie Woods(12)

It’s no secret by now that the Human Anatomy, Physiology, and Astronomy teacher Jim Denner will be retiring at the end of the 2021-2022 school year. As he transitions out of the classroom, many of his students are deeply saddened but don’t know a lot about his long teaching career or his plans for the future.

Denner has been teaching at LHS for 26 years, but before that, he taught for three years at a school in Colorado and did research projects on the side while he lived there. Although his original plan was to retire at the end of the 2022-2023 school year, several factors including construction, the long commute to work, and more pushed him to retire a year sooner.

Right now Denners’ plan after retirement is to find a job at the Warrenton County offices but if he finds a private school position open closer to his home he will take that position. However, he said his plan right now is to not substitute in public schools.

Denner said he will miss teaching his students the most.  “Watching the kids get it. Getting to learn especially about human anatomy, learn about their body and how it really works and how incredible it is, he said.” He will also miss the rapport he has with his students, his peers, and the students that he coaches in both volleyball and track. 

Denner said he loved teaching, coaching, and the lessons he’s passed on to his students and has had a blast doing all of it. However, he won’t miss the red tape of teaching, all of the paperwork, moving his classwork, and the construction. 

  “I love teaching. I love coaching. It’s a blast. I just hate all the red tape and all the paperwork and moving,” said Denner.

Senior Aly Hamby said what she will miss most about Denner being her teacher is, “He’s so funny. Just his personality is so fun and he’s always jumping around, and it just became a fun class.” Hamby believes that the most important lesson she learned from Denner is to just always be herself. 

Virtual learning during Covid was a big disappointment to Denner, who said he prefers learning and teaching with labs and allowing his students to have hands-on experiences with what they’re learning. Hamby also agreed that the labs and hands-on experiences help her better understand what is being taught. For example, right now the Human Anatomy class is dissecting cats and Hamby said, “And it helps me put a hands-on experience rather than just, like learning off of a computer, like a screen or paper or something like that.” Students Maddie Woods (12) and Hamby agree that Denners’ class gives real-world experiences, and this is what will help them going forward in not only science classes but also in the world. 

“I loved Denner’s class and him as a teacher because he built a bond with his classes and he was the teacher I would go to and talk to if I needed to. He made learning fun and I think that’s why I loved his class so much because we had fun and learned at the same time and he taught in a way that engaged everyone,” said Woods.

Both Hamby and Woods were saddened to hear that Denner would be retiring and he, too, is sad to be leaving Lindbergh after so long but the students and staff at Lindbergh won’t forget his contribution in his many years of teaching.  The lesson he hopes to pass along to his students is, “I hope they learn to be lifelong learners and never give up.”