Welcome back, Mr. Taft

Robinson alumni returns to teach history


Photo Ethan Adair

Mr. John Taft works at the computer at his desk.

Hanna Malone, Sports Editor

With the graduating class of 1999, John Taft walked across the stage to receive his high school diploma from Robinson. Twenty-one years later, he returned to teach U.S. history honors at his alma mater. Mr. Taft grew up here in Tampa, Florida, following the same path that a large percentage of our student body has; he attended elementary school at Ballast Point, middle school at Madison and all four years of high school here at Robinson.

During his time at Robinson, Taft played varsity baseball and took an interest in the history classes he took.

“I really enjoy history,” Taft said. “I was not the best student in school, academically, but I actually had Ms. Mousseau’s class her first year, I believe, and she really introduced me to the love of history. Every once in awhile you’ll see a kids eyes light up when you tell them a story about history.”

After high school, he went to college to major in history. First, he went to a university in upstate New York before moving back down to Florida and transferring to USF; he missed the state’s warm weather.

Once he graduated, he moved to St. Petersburg and taught social studies and U.S. history at King High School for twelve years. Now, he’s returned to his former high school, and his excited to continue and further her career as an educator.

“I’ve wanted to come back to where I went to school; I’ve heard it’s a really good school, teachers don’t typically leave here, so I figured that there is something to be said with that,” Taft said.

Taft is a hands-on teacher who loves to tell stories. His style is best described as procedure-oriented and structured, but with a relaxed classroom environment. At King, he was teacher of the year twice.

“Being that it’s a history class, I’m always up and moving around, telling stories and trying to relate history to the present-day,” Taft said.

During his time off from educating high school students, Mr. Taft enjoys salt-water fishing, rooting for local sports teams, and spending time with his dog, a twelve year old white lab named Marlin.

This year, Taft looks forward to becoming active in the school community and getting his students to a point where they can perform well on this year’s EOC.

“I just want to get every kid in the class to pass the EOC, that would be my big goal for this year,” Taft said. ” Also, I really want to be a part of the culture here and be part of the school community, just really immerse myself in it.”