Guest Column: Remembering Dr. Wesley Hill

By Robert B. Templin

For The West Alabama Watchman

Wesley Hill and I worked together as superintendent and assistant superintendent from 1981 until 1997, or about 16 years. We were two very different types of individuals in some ways, but I can look back with appreciation for knowing him as well as I did and for the experience of learning from him.

Dr. Wesley Hill

Dr. Wesley Hill

Let me give an example: Every week the principals and the Central Office administration would meet on Thursday or Friday for a principal’s meeting. One day, Bob Henderson, Joe McDaniel, Clarence Jackson, myself and Dr. Hill were in some kind of conversation over something that had happened in the schools and as a comparison for emphasis, I stated, “That person is being treated like a red-headed stepchild,” which is an expression that I had heard and used many times before.

Dr. Hill cleared his throat and asked me with a half-smile if I did not like red-headed individuals? I replied that I have a great fondness for people with red hair, and in fact, my mother has red hair – or as she described herself with strawberry blonde hair.

Dr. Hill was joking with me about the color of his hair and I never thought that his hair qualified as being red. To me, he was more blonde with reddish highlights.

We got a good laugh out of my judging my boss’ hair the way that I did, and occasionally we differed on how we felt about something educationally and personally, but it was taken as a personal opinion to be respected.

It was with a high degree of personal sadness that I heard about Wesley’s passing. He loved sports and living an active life with Barbara, his wife. His last years were spent in dependency on others, and this was not the Wesley Hill we all knew.

I feel sure that he is having a great time in the apple orchards of Glory with his daughter Kim.