McMinn set to retire after 33 years at BA


Zach Bollinger

Mr. Robert McMinn is retiring this year after 33 years as a teacher.

Jackson Boyer, Staff Writer

Mr.  Robert McMinn’s college advisor, a history major himself, once jokingly said Mr. McMinn would never get a job with his history major.  However, at that time it was beneficial to get a good liberal arts education.

After graduating from Penn State in 1982, he began working as a salesman for a few years, but Mr. McMinn says that he is not a salesman.  He believes that he has a passion for teaching because his father was a social studies teacher at Keith Jr. High School, and he followed in his father’s path.

Now 33 years later, he is preparing to retire as a history teacher at Bellwood-Antis High School.  

Mr. McMinn said that, “From my youngest age I’ve always loved history,” and enjoyed imagining what it is like to live in another place and time.  

“Students of history are really time-travelers,” stated Mr. McMinn.  

Mr. McMinn said his favorite topic  to study is  political history, and while he has many favorite people from history, he is a great admirer of Harry S. Truman.  However, if he was to choose one person as his favorite historical figure, it is Franklin D. Roosevelt.  When talking of FDR, Mr. McMinn refers to a quote by Shakespeare. 

“Some men are born to greatness, some men achieve greatness, and some men have greatness thrust upon them,” he said.  

Mr. McMinn feels that FDR fits all three because he came to office at the depth of the economic collapse.  He also had to lead this country through a world war. Mr. McMinn finds President Roosevelt interesting because he is a study in the modern presidency of the United States.  He said Roosevelt’s abilities were unique and (seemingly) perfectly suited for the time. 

Mr. McMinn feels passionately that to be a good citizen you need to know your history.  For him, history is the study of why things are the way they are, and that this gives one context by which you can really understand things.  While science explains the physical laws of the world, Mr. McMinn said that history offers a more fluid explanation because it deals with people. 

The future comes whether students are ready for it or not, but whatever it will be they will need the context of the past.”

— Mr. McMinn

“Lessons of humanity, good and bad, are essential to true understanding,” is an idea Mr. McMinn holds true. The primary focus of his class is to educate students on the history of our country and to prepare them for what they will face in college and life. 

Through his teaching, Mr. McMinn hopes that the students gain a deeper understanding of themselves, their country, and their world. He has enjoyed all his classes from his time as a teacher; however, he says the class of 2020 will be his most memorable.

A new focus at BASD is to create future-ready citizens, and Mr. McMinn’s class is doing just that.  He stated that, “The future comes whether students are ready for it or not, but whatever it will be they will need the context of the past.”  He believes that this is especially true if  students are to maintain their freedoms and system of government.  

As for retirement, Mr. McMinn has lots of plans, and he’s is not the least bit worried about keeping busy.  He is looking forward to enjoying time hunting and fishing, and completing bucket-list trips. He is looking forward to spending time with his wife, daughter, and parents. 

Mr. McMinn jokingly stated that his wife has a ‘honey-do’ list with lots of projects to complete. If he ever needs something to do, he has shelves of books that he wants to read or re-read.

Mr. McMinn has been an excellent teacher to BAHS for multiple years, and is well deserving of a nice retirement.  We wish him the best of luck.