Admin

CTHS students give teacher the gift of vivid sight

CTHS students give teacher the gift of vivid sight
Posted on 01/25/2019
This is the image for the news article titled CTHS students give teacher the gift of vivid sightfrom left to right (front row): CTHS freshmen Mari Gutierrez, Kadence Medina, Lilian Gonzalez, Kelly Nguyen. (middle row): CTHS connect geometry teacher Ryan Hill, CTHS freshmen Sarahi Flores, Celeste Cruz, Mauricio Valdovinos, Brandon Nguyen, Chi Nguyen, Marcy Martinez, CTHS senior Eduardo Verastegui. (back row): CTHS freshman Erick Villarreal.
from left to right (front row): CTHS freshmen Mari Gutierrez, Kadence Medina, Lilian Gonzalez, Kelly Nguyen.
(middle row): CTHS connect geometry teacher Ryan Hill, CTHS freshmen Sarahi Flores, Celeste Cruz, Mauricio Valdovinos, Brandon Nguyen, Chi Nguyen, Marcy Martinez, CTHS senior Eduardo Verastegui.
(back row): CTHS freshman Erick Villarreal.


by Dwight Henson
PISD Communications


If you can imagine a world of muted colors, where it’s difficult to distinguish red from green, or where the color purple does not exist, you might begin to have an idea of how the world used to look through the eyes of CTHS connect geometry teacher Ryan Hill. A class of freshmen changed that recently when they decided to give him the gift of vivid eyesight via a pair of Enchroma glasses.

Designed with a filter that optimizes the way a user sees over 10,000 natural and man-made colors, the glasses correct protanopia – the most common form of color-blindness-- in which affected persons lack the ability to distinguish between certain red and green hues.

“At the beginning of each school year, I tell students about my color deficiency,” said Hill. “It is a great ice-breaker and generates a lot of questions and discussions about it.”

A simple ice-breaker may not ordinarily seem like much, but to a nervous class of freshmen, it made a lasting impact.

“Interacting with other students is not something that comes easy to me,” said freshman student Brandon Nguyen.

“Mr. Hill consistently goes out of his way to make sure each student feels special,” added freshman student Erick Villarreal. “He really sets the bar high for other teachers.”

Hill’s focus on providing a warm and welcoming environment for his students to flourish inspired freshmen students Mari Gutierrez and Sarahi Flores to come up with a thoughtful way to show their appreciation.

“We went online and began researching what solutions there were for people with color blindness,” said Gutierrez.

“We found that Enchroma glasses were having a huge impact on people’s lives and then we knew what we had to do,” added Flores.

Gutierrez and Flores planned to surprise Hill with the glasses and teamed up with their classmates to raise the necessary funds by selling snacks after school. After raising enough money to purchase the $489 pair of glasses, they still had the problem of not knowing Hill’s prescription. So they sought the help of CTHS Assistant Principal Tom Le.

“Me and Ryan go way back,” said Le. “All I said to him was ‘What’s the prescription for your glasses? No questions asked.’”

“You never know what to expect with Tom,” added Hill. “I thought maybe he was planning to surprise me with a Christmas present or something. After Christmas came and went, I forgot all about it.”

When the students surprised him with the glasses, Hill was understandably moved by the gesture.

“I was blown away and overwhelmed,” said Hill. “When I put them on for the first time, I saw a vibrant world I never saw before. When I think about how much my students wanted me to see this, it brings me to tears every time.”

“I was so nervous when he opened the package, because I thought ‘What if it doesn’t work?’” said freshman student Kelly Nguyen. “When the moment came, the world stopped and I saw the look of bewilderment in his eyes as they processed purple for the first time.”

“It’s now my favorite color,” added Hill. “I even set it as the background color for my watch.”

As their school counselor, Christina Flores couldn’t be more proud of her students.

“It’s such a wonderful act of kindness done in a spirit of volunteerism,” said Flores. “I’m so glad that Mr. Hill is now able to see all the beautiful colors that make our students shine so brightly.”

CTHS senior AV production student Eduardo Verastagui captured the moment here.

Ryan Hill's new Enchroma glasses allow the CTHS teacher to see colors he's never seen before.
Ryan Hill's new Enchroma glasses allow the CTHS teacher to see colors he's never seen before.