Hilsenteger to Retire After 31 Years


Mullen Photo

Julie Hilsenteger teaches physics, applied physics, and AP physics.

Thomas Sato, Staff Writer

At the end of last year, Julie Hilsenteger, physics teacher and Track and Field/Cross Country coach retired from teaching after 31 years.


Right now, Hilsenteger is technically retired, but has come back this year to teach two periods of physics classes on an independent contract.


“As of right now, I’m coming back next year as far as I know,” Hilsenteger said. “It’s up to the district if they bring me back, but I’m assuming I am right now because we don’t have enough science teachers for everything.”


Hilsenteger stated that she retired last year. “It was my 31st year of teaching, and money-wise it’s better for me to be retired, because I get my retirement money and money for teaching.”


As for her coaching Track and Field and Cross Country at Centennial, she said that she would keep coaching as long as she’s teaching. “Once I retire completely from teaching I would maybe coach one more year after that and then not anymore, because you’re not in the building and you don’t know the students anymore.”


Hilsenteger is already realizing the benefits of retirement in not having to wake up so early to get to class. ”I teach my classes later in the day, and I’m not a morning person, so I can sleep now, get up, and not feel rushed. The other thing I would look forward to is not having papers to grade and stuff anymore, not having that hanging over your head.”

With the time spent not teaching or grading quizzes, Hilsenteger plans to get back into other hobbies of hers. “I do stained glass, which I haven’t done in three years. I just haven’t had time. I’ll pick that back up again. There was actually a class in high school that I took and learned how to do that.”


In addition to this, she is also looking forward to reading, running, working in her garden, and playing with her cats.


Hilsenteger says that what she will miss most about teaching is the kids, and “having intelligent conversations with high school students, and seeing them get excited:  ‘Oh, I understand what that means now! Oh, this is really exciting! Hey, I want to do this in college, I want to be an engineer.’”


“Of course my most favorite every year is when we go up on the mountain and go skiing and snowboarding.  That one is great fun every year.”


One thing for certain is that while Hilsenteger may be teaching for a few more years, when she stops teaching and coaching for good, her presence will be missed throughout the Centennial community by students and teachers alike.