Seniors on the Highland Park High School marching band and football weren’t the only ones recognized as they made their last appearance at a Giant football game Friday.
“We have one more senior,” the public address announcer said Friday after the senior band members were introduced alongside their parents at their final Wolters Field performance.
With that retiring Highland Park High School Music Director Jim Hile was singled out for his 18 years at the school. He retires at the end of the current term. His commitment to the school and his students made the tribute no surprise.
“The band program is truly a family that cares for and supports each other,” Highland Park High School Principal Brad Swanson said. “His commitment and dedication to his students, the band program, and our school as a whole is an inspiration to others.”
As the band played the Highland Park fight song, Hile stood, faced the crowd and clapped in rhythm as the musicians gave a spirited rendition of “Highland Park We’re Loyal Ever.” They were playing for a man who touched them.
“Doc has always focused on helping his students become better people first and better musicians second,” Swanson said. “I do not exaggerate when I say that he has changed lives forever. Doc (Hile) will be dearly missed by a great many students, parents and staff members.”
Watch and listen to the way the crowd bid Hile farewell and how he responded.