Leaving teachers share memories, advice for students: Bill Dunbar


Photo illustration by Shannon Lin and Oren Schube

Nikki Suzani, Features Editor

After 23 years of working at Gunn, AP Physics C teacher Bill Dunbar is looking for a change in both the school and subject he’s teaching. For the 2019-20 school year, Dunbar will be teaching math at Mountain View High School.

Dunbar is excited for the change in scenery, and for the opportunity to work with a new curriculum and staff. “It’s always good to make a change and try new things, so I feel like it’s a little scary to go to a different job, but I feel like I need that,” he said. “I feel like every teacher has a different personality, and so I just have to see how my personality fits in. I can’t wait to do creative things with math classes at Mountain View High School.”

During his time at Gunn, Dunbar has had many good experiences and memories that he can look back on. “I have had so many good times at Gunn High School,” he said. “I think my favorite thing here at Gunn for me was starting the Gunn Robotics Team. 20 years ago, I started off with a small group of students who just wanted to work on projects, and together we figured out how to build robots, which was a really fun experience for me and the students.”

For students that he’s leaving behind, Dunbar wants to remind them of his favorite phrases while teaching, and advice for them to hold even when he is gone. “I always tell my students to always, once in a while, lift their heads up and see the big picture of where we’ve been and where we are going so that our life doesn’t pass us by like a warm summer’s day,” he said. “I tell my students to attack their problems like a brave hero, and if they do those things, then they’ll be in good shape.”

As for his own legacy, Dunbar hopes he’ll be remembered for the strides he has taken in improving the physics curriculum. “I think that one of the biggest things I’ve done here at Gunn is building up the AP Physics C course,” he said. “When I started working here it was one all-male class, and now it’s five classes and the male-female ratio is really pretty good and the class is open to a wide variety of students. I’m proud of that, and I feel like the physics program at Gunn High School is really strong right now. The students next year, I don’t think they’re going to miss me at all, and I think they’ll have a great teacher and it’s going to be a great course.”