Samantha Ebner: How many years have you been working at the Hebrew Academy?
Mr. Innes: About 9 years.
SE: Where did you grow up?
Mr. I: Texas, in a small town about 150 miles from San Antonio and on the Mexican border.
SE: Where did you go to school?
Mr. I: I Graduated from Eagle Pass High School. My grade was made up of 120 kids.
SE: How many siblings do you have?
Mr. I: Two siblings. Both brothers.
SE: What do you like doing in your free time?
Mr. I: Travel a lot. Play tennis and golf. Watch Captain Kangaroo.
SE: Have you always wanted to be a math teacher?
Mr. I: No. I wanted to be a coach, but then I realized you couldn’t get a job doing that. I had a partial math degree so I just finished that degree and became a math teacher.
SE: Have you worked anywhere else previously?
Mr. I: Yes. I worked as a math teacher at Killian High School for 40 years.
SE: How far away do you live from school?
Mr. I: I get to school at about 5:30am, and it takes around 30 minutes to drive over. On the way home though, it takes me about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
SE: Since you have a somewhat long commute then why did you choose to come to Hebrew Academy, rather than go to a school closer to you, or stay at Killian?
Mr. I: Well, because when I finished working at Killian I thought that’s it, I’m done working. I was essentially retired. Then, the Hebrew Academy began looking for a math department chair. The Jewish families in Kendall told the school to call me, and the Head of School did so. Even though I wasn’t looking for a job.
SE: If you left Killian to retire, then why did you say yes when the head of Hebrew Academy called you?
Mr. I: Well, I thought it would be an interesting experience. I spent my entire life in one public school and you don’t get much diversity while doing that. But I had the greatest experience you probably could have as a teacher for all that time so I thought it would be interesting to see what it would be like somewhere else. So, I tried out this school for a year or two, and guess I stayed.
SE: How long do you plan on staying at Hebrew Academy before you want to retire completely?
Mr. I: I plan on staying here until the great Dr. Lieber gets mad enough at me for giving her a hard time, and she tells me to take a walk.
SE: If you thought you were going to be here for one to two years, then why did you stay?
Mr. I: I find it rewarding, since I’m having the students to do what I think they should do mathematically and from the standpoint in-which I’m at.
SE: Is Hebrew Academy different than Killian?
Mr. I: Things aren’t very different here than they were at Killian. I was told there would be a difference, for me there wasn’t, so people have accepted and realized that it’s not a bad thing.
SE: How do the two schools differ?
Mr. I: First, Killian has a much bigger diversity, from about 3,000 to 5,000 students in that school of all religions. The thing that was so nice about it was for the most part everyone learned to get along. It was very very congenial. There were a number of kids there who were very very smart. Each year we had many kids going into Ivy League schools, for example, MIT, Stanford, etc.
SE: Do you like the people you work with here?
Mr. I: Yes. They’re very kind to me, and they let me get away with all of my garbage and because of that they don’t criticize me, at least not openly. They may think I’m an idiot behind their backs but they seem to accept that what I do is okay.
SE: Are you happy you chose to come out of retirement and work at Hebrew Academy?
Mr. I: Yes, because if I was in retirement I would be spending billions of dollars everyday because that is what I like to do.
By: Samantha Ebner (9th grade)