Getting to know Greg Hill
Written by Jorian Clark
Mr. Greg Hill, as many know him, is the school’s World Geography, American Culture and AP Human Geography teacher. What many do not know about Hill, especially after observing his stature and mannerisms, is that he loves traveling and salsa dancing, he had a parody movie role in the film “Friday Night Lights,” he was is the 1988 State Texas High School Football Championship and he even sang in the church choir growing up. Native to the area, Hill was raised in Dallas and attended Carter High School. Hill enjoys each and every day in the life of a John Horn High School teacher.
- Q: In college, what differences stood out your first day as an SMU Mustang?
Hill: It was a bit of a shock for the first few years at SMU. My first year there was the year after the NCAA sanction ended on campus regarding paid players. Also, I watched other students spend as they pleased while I remained on budget, I wasn’t used to seeing that kind of thing.
- Q: What influenced you to choose SMU as your college and athletic career path?
Hill: Academics played a key role in choosing a school. In actuality, it boiled down to choosing between the University of Arizona and Southern Methodist University. SMU proposed playing as a freshman while Arizona mentioned being redshirted. Traveling to and from my family also played a factor in my decision.
- Q: How does this generation compare to yours?
Hill: “Our generation is the reason your generation is the way it is today,” Hill said. Also, today’s generation seems to be more accepting of people, whereas the people I grew up around were timid towards those that seemed different or believed different.
- Q: What adversity did you face your first year at SMU?
Hill: I came in perceived and stereotyped as the big, bad, ghetto athlete from Carter High School. I had a professor claim that he didn’t like me due to the fact that I was an athlete.
- Q: If placed to live anywhere in the world, where would you want to be and why?
Hill: I would want to live in Gothenbürg, Sweden. Although there are higher taxes, you get what you pay for. Gothenbürg has one of, if not the, lowest crime rate, and the government pays for college.
- Q: After teaching at many schools, why did you come to Horn High School?
Hill: I accredit current basketball coach Billy Clark ad Mr. Pardun (the first principal at Horn) for my job here. Mr. Pardun called asking me to teach geography here, and he seems to always get what he wants. I feel well-respected here by the staff and students here and enjoy that the community is really laid back.
- Q: What was it like playing with and against fellow staff member Robert Hall?
Hill: Hall is a very “low but sharp” individual. He didn’t say much in high school but was always a jokester when he had the opportunity. When my SMU team played Texas Tech, I received hate mail soon after for causing an injury to the Tech quarterback (Robert Hall) when it happened during the game. Although we were playing against each other, I felt the need to give him assistance, for he was a past friend.
- Q: What was it like being represented in the well-known movie, Friday Night Lights?
Hill: The team used to perceive the Dallas Carter football team was poorly depicted. Although we had our ways, we were not some group of thugs as we were represented.
- Q: What was the most exciting part about singing in the church choir?
Hill: Traveling was very exciting. I enjoyed getting to see different areas and different people.
- Q: How was your first day as a teacher?
Hill: My first day of teaching was a disaster. I had a history background but was assigned to teach Boys P.E. On the first day, there was a class approximately 300 kids. Many showed up that were not assigned to the class, which made my first hour as a teacher quite challenging.