Hilliard leaves teaching role

Joe Lister

After ending twelve faithful years as a teacher and dean, Mr. Fred Hilliard remains Malvern’s head baseball coach.

hilliard

The long-time coach and teacher announced his resignation on September 27.

Hilliard’s teaching duties ended on Thursday, October 6. “Emotionally it’s definitely bittersweet, I love Malvern, it’s a great place, I love the students, I love the friendships I’ve made here, I’m definitely going to be missing it,” he said.

“I just feel like something’s different about Malvern, and it’s not as recognizable as it used to be for me,” he said.

Hilliard has been teaching in the middle school for twelve years. “I can’t remember the year, but I coached in the Spring, and that summer a job opened up,” he said. “I applied, and ended up getting it… I started, just as an English teacher. I was teaching four classes, three sections of seventh grade, and one section of eighth grade.”

This year, Hilliard was assigned to the new Middle School Humanities class, which is a combination of English and History. He said he noticed a lot of changes.

“It’s a lot different. It’s obviously a bigger classroom. I’ve never taught in the ModSpace before, it’s different, it’s a much larger section of kids,” he said. “I am an English teacher by trade. Humanities, although there is an English element to it, it’s not as centralized or focused as my traditional Language Arts lessons.”

While he’s leaving his teaching duties, Hilliard will still be coaching Malvern baseball.

“Coaching was one of the things that I didn’t want to part with, it felt like what we’ve built as a baseball program is pretty special, and I would hate to see that kind of evaporate,” he said.

“Obviously it’ll be a little different because I’m used to being on campus during the day and there’s more things I’m able to get done during the day. One of the things I’ve always loved about here is my accessibility to my players at all three levels,” he said.

After teaching at Malvern, Hilliard says that he plans to spend more time in athletics.

“For the time being I’ll be managing a baseball facility, so I’ll be in charge of  instructors, I’ll be in charge of camps, clinics, so it’s a lot like being a principal,” Hilliard said.

As for whether or not Hilliard’s new position would allow him to hold the baseball team’s workouts at his facility, he said that there are probably a lot of Malvern students who go to the facility already.

“Especially considering there’s no indoor facility on campus for our players to use, I would love to have them have something over the winter time where they can stay in shape and hit and throw,” he said.

“It is a business, so I don’t think I can just give it to our guys for free, but since I’ll be there … I would love to be able to get our guys in there,” Hilliard said.

Hilliard’s Humanities counterpart, Ms. Kimberly Sheets, said that she met Hilliard a few weeks before school started, so that they could plan out their new class.

She also added that Hilliard has a knack for remembering movie quotes, “which makes working with him very easy and fun.”

[He’s] awesome,” Sheets said. “We get along really well.”

“I’ll really miss teaching, I’ll really miss the classroom, and I will definitely miss the daily interactions with the students both younger and older. Unfortunately, I just felt it was time for me to move on,” Hilliard said.