The Devil’s Advocate

The Student News Site of Lodi High School

The Devil’s Advocate

The Devil’s Advocate

Catching up with Mr. Zilker

Mr. Zilker
Mr. Zilker and his hawk

Any student who went to Lodi Middle School in the eighth grade may remember our science teacher, Mr. Zilker. Many people also know that 2022-2023 was his last year of teaching. Well, let’s interview him and ask him about his life during retirement and what he’s been up to lately.

When asked about retirement, he said he’s still getting used to the different pace of life but is enjoying the extra time and has spent much of it visiting family and friends.

“Science class was fun,” freshman Josie Varney said. “I always looked forward to it.” Mr. Zilker said he misses teaching, especially being around teenagers and the interesting things they had to say, although he doesn’t miss having to work on days he didn’t want to. Some of his favorite parts of teaching were when either he or a student would say something funny and make the whole class laugh.

“I’d be teaching a new topic that kids weren’t familiar with,” he said, “and you can literally see it on their faces.” It’s like a piece of a puzzle from what they knew a little bit about, and then all of a sudden there’s a real moment of’so that’s why that’s the way it is’ that I really missed.”

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Mr. Zilker also says he misses seeing the other teachers because the middle school was a fantastic place. He loved walking the halls and talking to students and teachers alike.

Mr. Zilker was asked, “What made you decide to become a science teacher?” He said that he graduated from college with a business and biology degree and worked with the Fish and Wildlife Service and the DNR. He loved the outdoors and thinking about how to solve problems in a way that made the planet better. His favorite unit was teaching chemistry because it was something new to most kids. He also had a lot of fun with genetics and teaching about how different traits were passed down.

An important aspect many people may not know about Mr. Zilker is that he does falconry and owns several pigeons. This year, he had a very good hawk named Talia and hunted squirrels all winter. His pigeons have also been doing great; he has lots of hens sitting on eggs, to hopefully be added to the 40+ pigeons he already owns.

Golfing has also been going very well for Mr. Zilker. This year, the team has about 40 golfers, which is the most he’s ever had. He loves coaching and being able to reconnect with past students.

“He was very knowledgeable, cool, and chill,” freshman Mckenna Griffis said. “I dig it; he’s legit.”

When asked about what influenced him to become who he is today, he told me the teachers he had in high school and college really made an impact on him.

“Is there anything you’d like to tell your former students?” he was asked.

“The main thing that I would hope for is that students have faith in themselves and understand that we all go through things in life.”

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About the Contributor
Harrison Keyeski
Harrison Keyeski is currently a freshman at LHS. He joined Writing for Publication at the beginning of the school year. He has appeared several times in the broadcast and has written multiple scripts. Harrison has also worked on the yearbook and newspaper.