Barb Hoklin Retires After 20 Years
Published August 3, 2022
Written by Brett Walters, English Faculty & SWCHS alumnus
After 20 years of teaching at SWCHS, Dr. Barbara Hoklin is moving on from the great legacy she has built as a teacher, department chair, event coordinator, discipleship group leader, and well-loved colleague and friend. This is especially significant as Dr. Hoklin has been a mentor in my life since my junior year at SWCHS in one of her first classes.
As an 11th grader with a solid collection of Warped Tour band shirts and little conscious regard for the significance of words and stories, I did not walk into that classroom thinking that my path in life would become clearer as a result of her teaching. However, I experienced Hamlet and Crime and Punishment for the first time, I learned strategies and rhythms that helped me find some joy in writing, and I realized how truth and beauty is to be found in appreciating words and stories. It was Dr. Hoklin’s genuine love for the material and her appreciation and care for me and my peers that eventually helped me conclude that I wanted to share a deep knowledge and love of literature. I did not know that was my route right away, but I soon found myself back in her classroom during college teaching sample lessons on As You Like It. Eventually, I found myself not just in the role Dr. Hoklin inspired me to pursue, but I was able to launch my teaching career as her colleague.
Throughout our time working together in the English department, she has continued to push me to become a better teacher, writer, and reader. Often, when I speak to former students, Dr. Hoklin and her classes are remembered very fondly. This makes me feel quite fortunate in the sense that I am likely her longest-tenured student. Not only has she helped me become the best teacher I can be, but I have witnessed how deeply she cares about her students and for SWCHS as the place we all love and appreciate.
Whether it was Night of Stars, Baccalaureate, Commencement, Safety Committee, or many other responsibilities, she has been a foundational pillar in many of the ways in which this school has flourished from the warehouse days until now.
Dr. Hoklin’s Storyline for her English 12 courses is “Choose the true path,” and though our faculty has only been articulating these storylines for a few years, this has been a hallmark of her class since I sat there in her first classroom on Peavey Road. Dr. Hoklin has continuously helped me, and so many others, to find that true path through opening our eyes to the beauty and power of the written word. I believe that SWCHS is on that true path as well, in no small part thanks to the legacy she leaves.