Robin Roberts ’79 just retired as a teacher and coach from Tri-Valley Middle School (Downs, IL) on September 22nd of 2016 after 33 years of service.
He taught 7th grade World Geography, coached track & cross country, and was a bus driver. He also coordinated a large Civil War Day event each May, since 2005, with over 50 re-enactors from across the state participating. Many area schools attended this annual event.
Robin was honored by the McLean County Museum of History with a plaque in May of 2016 in honor of his students displaying 40 Illinois History Fair Projects for over 20 years at the museum for the general public to view. Many of the projects researched a historically significant person, place, or event from McLean County or Central Illinois. These projects went on to compete at the regional and state levels.
Robin received numerous teaching honors which included the following: 2002 Illinois History Expo Governor’s Award, 2008 Golden Apple Award Finalist, 2009 Bloomington Walmart Teacher of the year, and the 2009 Illinois State Historical Society Olive Foster Teacher of the Year Award.
Robin also officiated high school basketball for 41 years and football for 25 years. He was selected to work the IHSA State Finals in Peoria for boys basketball in 2001, 2002, and 2004. Robin was selected and inducted into the Hall of Fame for basketball officiating by three different organizations: the BNOA (Bloomington-Normal Officials Association), the IBOA (Illini Basketball Officials Association), and the IBCA (Illinois Basketball Coaches Association).
Robin has participated as a chaperone for the McLean County Diversity Project since its inception in 2001. Each year he helps supervise a group of 25 local junior high and high school students on an annual week-long summer trip with the theme varying but always concentrating on the issues of diversity. The group has traveled in the past to such places as New York, Boston, Gettysburg, Vicksburg, Wyoming, Colorado, and Costa Rica. In late June, they will be visiting the Nazi Death Camp at Auschwitz, Poland.
Enjoy your retirement! Look me up at a reenactment. I’m in the 33rd Illinois Regimental Band.