The following was submitted by Allyson Omdahl.
"Mr. Hunter has had a career of service to Oak Canyon Junior High. Each assignment is hands-on and structured to engage students. Students experience the joy of creating something from scratch. Whether it is sanding a CO2 car or electronically designing your dream home, Mr. Hunter helps bring projects to life.
Mr. Hunter is a brilliant teacher of teamwork and leadership. In his 7th grade CTE class, he carefully pairs students who can complement each other's strengths and weaknesses into small groups. He expects the students within these groups to lead each other. Once one student has finished the assigned project, the student is to help the others in their group to finish.
Mr. Hunter is tireless in his efforts always going the extra distance to help his students learn. He takes particular interest in students who are having a hard time. One parent shared, "My son was really struggling his first semester in 7th grade, and Mr. Hunter was able to inspire him to improve and became a real role model for him. I appreciated that he didn't really make it easier for my son, instead he helped him rise to the challenge and get back on track." Mr. Hunter really cares.
Mr. Hunter puts quality in everything he does. He runs a very organized classroom. His rules and expectations are clear and give students confidence that they can succeed under his guidance. Mr. Hunter expects students to reflect this same organization and precision in their schoolwork. One mother chuckled when, after struggling for some time to remove a piece of scotch tape, her son said, "Mr. Hunter taught me to do it like this." The son then deftly removed the tape. Though this story may seem insignificant, students are watching and learning from Mr. Hunter's every move. They want to emulate his skills and talents.
Mr. Hunter is the driving force behind the Technology Student Association (TSA) club. This after school club meets every Wednesday for two hours. As the advisor of TSA, Mr. Hunter uses this time to reinforce principles of science, engineering, technology, and math (STEM).
One mother shares of her experience, "Mr. Hunter has given so much time to the TSA program and has been an amazing mentor to my two boys. He has fostered a love of engineering and technology and also friendship with my oldest son Carter. You can tell he loves his job and the students he teaches."
As part of TSA, Mr. Hunter works with students to prepare projects to compete at the state level. Ninth grade students who receive a first place award at state continue on to national competition. Mr. Hunter has successfully lead the TSA club for years, mentoring students to hundreds of state and dozens of national awards.
Another mother shares her son's TSA experience, " Mr. Hunter is not only a fantastic teacher, but has spent a significant amount of time building the Oak Canyon TSA team into a powerhouse. My oldest son, Scott Milner, participated in TSA while at Oak Canyon and was able to attend the Nashville national TSA competition and do very well. Mr. Hunter's excellent attention to detail helped Scott's teams succeed. Scott has continued to participate in TSA while in high school and has carried so many of the lessons Mr. Hunter taught with him. I'd love to see Mr. Hunter honored for the many students he has helped to become part of this great experience."
Parents feel Mr. Hunter is a delight to work with. One parent said, "I have served as a chaperone on field trips with Mr. Hunter. I appreciate how well Mr. Hunter communicates with the parents and sets reasonable expectations. I felt prepared to help the students be where they were supposed to be, when they were supposed to be there. This was critical to the health, safety and success of the students."
Mr. Hunter has built the TSA club by including the parents. A mother related her experience, "At parent teacher conference, Mr. Hunter told me about Technology Student Association. Mr. Hunter encouraged me to get my daughter Ella involved in the club. I was so glad that Mr. Hunter informed me because Ella joined the club and loved making friends and gaining knowledge. Mr. Hunter knew that with a little extra encouragement from the parents, students will get involved."
After each competition, Mr. Hunter invites the students and their parents to a celebration meeting. Mr. Hunter highlights the student's accomplishments every parent feels joy seeing their child recognized for a job well done. Mr. Hunter then gives instructions for the next competition keeping the parents informed and the students focused.
Mr. Hunter has been highly involved in the community through the Boy Scouts of America program. He has served as a scoutmaster for twenty years. He has served in many other capacities for a total of thirty-six years of service with the Boy Scouts of America. Mr. Hunter incorporates this scouting experience into the classroom. He teaches classes that count for merit badges and is willing to sign the blue cards as the merit badge counselor.
One parent relates, 'When my son Derek told Mr. Hunter about his Eagle Scout project and asked for Mr. Hunter's help, Mr. Hunter gladly obliged. He was willing to give of his time and expertise after school to help get the project done. He was so encouraging and positive and his help was critical to finishing the project. He is an amazing role model!'"