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They came in droves to honor a teacher, a mentor, an outdoorsman, a sportman, a father, a leader.
After teaching 37 years at Williston High School, Robert Philpot has decided to retire and Saturday marked a reception to honor his commitment to the students and people of Williston.
For more than two hours, one by one–and sometimes in pairs and triples–people came forth and told the hundreds of people in attendance how much the teacher had influenced their lives.
State Commissioner of Agriculture Charles Bronson stressed the importance of Philpot’s work in the schools–educating youth about growing this country’s food supply.
Former students, current students and colleagues all said the same thing: Robert Philpot is a man who cares, who has a highly competitive nature, who leads by example and who lives by “do the right thing for the right reasons.”
Chris Wilder, who works alongside Philpot, said his co-worker came in early, radio blaring Cher, Michael Jackson or Roy Orbison and proclaiming, “I still love coming to school every day.”
Philpot himself said he loved going to work and hoped he exhibited that to his students.
“Look what you’ve done for yourselves,” he said. “You haven’t enjoyed it (his teaching), anymore than I have myself.”
Philpot encouraged the community to continue to support FFA and told students they can be who they want–”just make up your mind to do it.”