By Hannah McLamb, Stuttgart High School Senior
STUTTGART | November 17, 2016
Mr. Danny Robinson, principal for Stuttgart High School (and the former Patch High School) for five years, has announced his plans to retire at the end of November. To the collective dismay of students and staff alike, Robinson feels that his time as a principal is coming to an end; having worked for DoDDS for 36 years, he believes it’s time for him to move on in life. After serving in the military, instructing as a teacher and a coach, and acting as an assistant principal for four years, the final eleven years as a respectable principal have left Mr. Robinson satisfied with his career choices thus far in his life.
SHS’s principal assures that his job as the headmaster has been nothing but extremely positive, and that he’s enormously proud of the family-like college atmosphere that has been created at the school. He’s extraordinarily grateful and content that the time he’s spent here has been worth his while.
“I pinch myself everyday. This job is great,” he says. “At the end of the day, I always leave here feeling fulfilled.”
Mr. Danny Robinson was raised in a military family as the oldest of five; his father was in the Army and served in Vietnam. The only member of the family (including his parents) to attend college, Mr. Robinson set a goal for himself to live a satisfactory and fulfilling life and planned his future around it. He took every opportunity along the way, including internships and odd jobs. Though some things did not always go as he planned, this did not trip him up or slow him down in his determination to achieve his goals. “Some decisions are good on that day,” he attests, “Any decision I’ve made were right on that day. I don’t have any regrets.”
With no regrets about his years as headmaster, Mr. Robinson offers advice to students and teachers alike: “Keep a clear conscious. If you mess something up, go fix it before you leave. Don’t go home and lose sleep over anything. Make things right.”
He considers his greatest achievement to be working as a principal with an open door policy, allowing students to come to him with anything; he’s most thankful for the job’s opportunity to shape the lives of students. To those same students, particularly those of whom made the transition from Patch High School to the new Stuttgart High School, he expresses pride in their resilience through the progression, and that the school itself works because of who they are and how they stick together as a family team. This is also, he adds, due to the efforts and endeavors of the school’s wonderful teachers.
The best lessons he’s picked up over his years as a teacher and principal alike have taught him that every opportunity to make something a teachable moment should be taken, and that students will make mistakes, but it’s better that those mistakes are made in high school, when it can be remedied and learned from to use later in life. Robinson admonishes other headmasters and teachers not to punish students so severely that they can’t recover; trust the student to admit and fix their mistake. “Respect students, have concern for individuals and know their needs,” he encourages. “We need to recognize that grades reflect learning, not responsibility.”
Students have taught him an important lesson too, he maintains: “Treat students like young adults, and they’ll excel and live up to your expectations. Students grow up and learn. Never give up on a single one of them.”
Mr. Robinson plans to perfect his art skills, learn to play an instrument, read more and travel after his retirement from DoDDS. He’s also excited to work more with his son, and further expand his horizons. He will be missed by both the students and staff of Stuttgart High School, as well as the alumni that graduated under him in past years.
In his “Thank you one and all, and all the very best to you, always,” he tells the students and staff in his retirement letter.
And to you, sir.
Written by Hannah McLamb, Stuttgart High School Senior and Zeitgeist 2017 Yearbook/Media Journalist, moved to Stuttgart from South Carolina in the fall of 2015. She tackles the fine art of interviewing and investigative reporting to capture the essence of humanity. She will graduate from SHS in 2017; she aspires to be an author and a musician.