By Noah Henkell
For just over half a century, La Mesa resident Ned Wilson has had the privilege of educating roughly 7,500 students in the fields of biology, chemistry, animal behavior, ecology, anatomy and physiology, Earth science, and Western Civilization at St. Augustine High School in San Diego. Wilson, better known as “Sir” by the student body, has taught over 1,500 classes at the all-boys Catholic institution and has been a fixture at St. Augustine extra-curricular events for decades.
Wilson was a 1962 graduate of the University of San Diego and went on to receive his master’s degree and teaching credential from San Diego State University in 1964. He accepted a teaching position at St. Augustine in the fall of 1965. Over the course of the next 51 years, Wilson would bring energy and passion into the classroom and it would lead many of his students to accomplish great things.
“He was everything; he was funny, inspirational, entertaining, and a great teacher,” said Johnny Bartel, a recent graduate of St. Augustine.
This message was echoed by California State Senator Joel Anderson.
“Mr. Wilson exemplified how education can change lives,” Anderson said. “My son Michael and I had the honor of being his students and I have been able to apply his lessons on life and hard work through my role as a Senator.”
Wilson received a Senate Resolution for his outstanding teaching career at a retirement ceremony held on Friday, June 17.
Wilson has received multiple commendations for his hard work as an educator. In 1982, Wilson was the recipient of the Bishop Buddy Award in recognition of extraordinary commitment to humanitarian causes. Years later he was presented with the “Augustinian of the Year” by St. Augustine High School. Outside the classroom, Wilson was recognized by the Boy Scouts of America as a Distinguished Leader.
Among those 7,500 students Wilson had the privilege to teach were his sons and his grandson. “What a great privilege to teach my sons and grandson, something few have ever experienced. A special feeling, something to never forget.”
Wilson’s contribution to the San Diego community, not just as an educator but as a role model for thousands of students, is incomprehensible. Through his commitment of more than 50 years in the classroom, Wilson serves as a prime example of education making a global impact.
—Noah Henkell is a legislative intern for Senator Joel Anderson and studies political science and plays baseball at Gordon College in Massachusetts.