A New Era for Grenz

AP U.S. History teacher Robin Grenz leaves behind a lasting impact on students and faculty as she moves on from Hagerty


photo by Juliana Joyner

What’s wrong with California?-History teacher Robin Grenz points to California on the map. She is working towards retirement and will not fulfill her position next year.

Whether it was dancing on the tabletops, frequently sporting a new pair of flashy Converse, or baking cookies as a surprise for her 6th period, AP U.S. History teacher Robin Grenz has always taught in an “eccentric” manner, as senior Alexis O’Brien describes it.

Grenz has deemed herself as a “coach” who likes to engage and encourage students as well as keep a flipped classroom, where the students learn the content outside of class and build upon it in school.

“Kids learn the story outside the class and then we use the story in class. I like to keep the students as engaged as possible, through dialogue or activities or even a film that we discussed,” Grenz said.

Those who had Grenz for social studies classes such as AP U.S. History and AP Human Geography are appreciative of her unique way, she leads a classroom. Grenz often connected facts and curriculum with personal anecdotes, while also making sure to include students’ take on worldly events.

“She would tie in personal stories and make them more interesting, relating it back to our lives,” sophomore Julia Geismar said.

This way of teaching was beloved by many students, making it difficult to accept the news of her retirement from her teaching post at Hagerty.

“I felt shocked at the news about Mrs. Grenz leaving as I felt very depressed about how another good teacher is about to leave Hagerty,” junior Ethan Hoang said.

Grenz’s teaching has also impacted students beyond the classroom. Grenz recalls around 20 people she taught who have moved on to become teachers, with some even in the social studies department. O’Brien has even centered her major around History in order to get into law school.

“Mrs. Grenz is the reason I have decided to major in history with a focus on U.S. History. I want to go into law school having a unique degree that will benefit me as well. She inspired a passion for US History in me,” O’Brien said.

Geismar has learned to stress less about small details on assignments and homework. Geismar had Grenz as a freshman in AP Human Geography.

“She taught me to do things in baby steps and to not get overwhelmed. Mrs. Grenz has just been a great role model for me,” Geismar said.

Along with students, staff members also admire the legacy Grenz leaves behind. Fellow History department teacher Erin Foley, who has worked alongside her for 12 years, days that Grenz has contributed much to the school.

“She is an integral part of the foundation of HHS. She paved the way for our department and school to work as a cohesive unit; integrating critical thinking skills, analytical discourse and investigative inquiry,” Foley said.

AP Human Geography and AP World History teacher Dali Stires had conflicting feelings about the news of her peer and friend leaving the school.

“I have two emotions. I was devastated as her friend and as her peer where we would not have contact throughout the school year, but I was excited for her because it was a new chapter,” Stires said.

Foley has known Grenz for 14 years and while the environment they work in is serious overall, Foley cherishes the lighthearted moments shared with Grenz.

“My favorite memory with Grenz is from this past year, when we had to learn the choreography for the dance merely, and we were performing at the pep rally. During our practice sessions, we were able to bond and just be ridiculous,” Foley said.

While Grenz is excited for retirement and future engagements, she will not forget her time at Hagerty and the memories she has made.

“I have a lot of favorite memories. So many. Our first graduation in ’09, because I have been with those kids for so long, the t-shirt we made this year. Each year has their own special moments. I will always be a Husky at heart,” Grenz said.