Mr. Cunningham: Teaching Life Lessons As Well as Spanish

Spanish teacher Mr. Cunningham shares love of language and love for others

Clara Pohlman, Social Media Editor

Mr. Bill Cunningham, Spanish teacher and highly friendly faculty member at Skutt Catholic, has many interesting factoids and various “hidden” secrets that not many students would know. But what makes Mr. Cunningham so wonderful is his attention to the smallest details of day to day life.

“When I was in college I was thinking about going to medical school for Biology, and some of the schools required a second language, so I took Spanish,” Mr Cunningham said. “I just realized that it was more me, and so I ended up switching my major pretty late in college,” Cunningham continued. He went on to explain that Spanish is all about warmth and relationships and affection. It is no surprise, then, that he has such a passion for the language and for teaching it to his students.

Mr. Cunningham has visited Spain, Chile, Perú, and México, and he explained that, in a Spanish speaking country, much affection is shown through kissing on the cheek, hugs, etc. He says that his favorite word in Spanish is “ferrocarril” which means train, just because of the fun “rrrr” sound it makes.

Although he taught at Millard North for 29 years, Cunningham had always wanted to teach at Skutt Catholic. He especially liked the fact that he could have personal relationships with a smaller student body and really make an impact on his students’ lives. He has managed to do just that.

In just the few months Cunningham has taught Honors Spanish III at Skutt Catholic, his reputation not only as a teacher but as an overall role model for students has been truly inspirational. His passion for Spanish is evident in his teaching style, which encourages his classes to want to have the same passion for the language. 

“If someone asks me what it is that I do, my instinct would be to say that I teach Spanish. But what I really say is that I help kids,” Cunningham said. “Making sure that a student is doing okay and really understands the material is what is most important to me.”

But aside from his focus of teaching Spanish, Mr. Cunningham really devotes his teaching style to being all about the student and what is most necessary for them to succeed. “Saint Therese of Lisieux said something about being a saint through the little things, and I think that is true for those that I care about,” Cunningham said. “The long lasting relationships are people who do little things for you all the time.”

“I like to give up even a little bit of my time to make sure that a student is doing okay,” Cunningham continued. His dedication to students well-being is clearly at the forerunner of not only his teaching life, but extends beyond the classroom as well.

Clara Pohlman

Clara joined the Flightline in August of 2017. She is a senior this year, involved in speech, show choir, and theatre. Outside of school she loves working as a princess for children's birthday parties. You can email her at [email protected]