WA highlights alumni, retiring educator Dave Huls

Dave Huls, retiring educator and WA Class of 1970 alumni, flashes the “W” to show his support for Wasatch Academy (WA). (Photo courtesy of Wasatch Academy)

MT. PLEASANT — Dave Huls first stepped onto the Wasatch Academy (WA) campus as a student in 1968. Little did he know that 51 years later he would find himself retiring from teaching at the school.

As Mr. Huls, to his students, and Dave, to his classmates, finishes up his professional career, Wasatch Academy wanted to know about his experience as both a student and educator at WA.

When did you attend WA? I first came as a junior in 1968 and graduated in 1970.

What were your favorite classes while at school? WA gave me a chance to try a lot of different things. However, art/film classes and Spanish were by far my favorites. The first time I ever picked up a camera was at WA. They let me experiment and learn hands-on and supported me in what I was doing. Little did I know it would lead to a career in media.

Who were the teachers that most impacted your time here? Ms. Kerr and Mrs. Olmsted. Ms. Kerr helped me understand math. It was just a foreign concept, and she made sense of it to me. I credit her patience and understanding in helping me make sense of math.

Mrs. Olmstead let me use my creativity with an 8mm film camera. I enjoyed making movies while at school. Using that 8mm film camera gave me the drive to look into the field as a potential career.

What is your most memorable moment as a student? My most memorable moment was when I was elected Snow Ball King.

Tell us about life after WA… As for my career, after graduating in Telecommunications from the University of Utah, I worked at the local NBC affiliate (KUTV at that time). I worked my way up from part-time cameraman to news director and editor.

I then went to work for a production facility, Skaggs Telecommunications in various positions — account executive, operations manager, and producer. I also freelanced for ESPN and on movie sets.

Then, in 1994, I moved to Denver to work for DirecTV. When I started, they had 100 customers! I worked for them as an editor and technical employee until coming to WA in 2016.

What brought you back to WA? I wanted to share the knowledge I had gained working in TV with future generations. Plus, the school was looking for a film teacher.

I knew Head of School Joseph Loftin from the ’90s when we created a video for him of the school for marketing purposes. So, he realized I knew video, and it seemed a perfect fit for me.

What classes did you teach here? Digital Video/Film.

What was the most unexpected thing you learned from WA as a teacher? How much work goes into being an effective teacher. As a student, I never fully understood how much work all my teachers put into helping us all learn. I am more grateful than ever to those who went above and beyond to help me succeed.

How has WA stayed the same, and how have we changed since your time as a student? It stayed the same in it being one big family, and we all care for each other. It has changed in its global outreach and expanded facilities. The campus is incredible, and the students today have so many tools to learn, grow and succeed.

What is your most significant memory as a teacher at WA? My most significant memory was students telling me they learned a lot from me and that I was their favorite teacher.

What parting lessons would you like to leave with alumni and current students? Support WA as much as you can because it is a unique school and needs to continue to serve students from around the world to make an impact. Alumni can look back and realize what WA did for them.

You are approaching your class’s 50th reunion, why do you think it’s important to come back to campus and celebrate milestone reunion years? It is important for others from our class to realize we still have a very tight bond with each other. Plus, I’m hoping to see some classmates I haven’t seen since graduation.

What do you hope for the future of WA? I hope it continues to do well and move forward in the path of Joe Loftin’s vision.

As Dave Huls leaves campus in early June, the WA community appreciates him for all he has done over the years and looks forward to him visiting campus in the future.

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