MHA teacher flies like an eagle: Meet Mr. Bob Maruna

A childhood fantasy to soar through the air became reality for Mars Hill Academy math and science teacher Bob Maruna as he flew like an eagle across the skies of Egypt and of Middle Earth.

“I have always been fascinated with birds,” he said. “As a young boy I wished I could fly like a hawk. That dream inspired me to earn my private pilot license at age 18 and then to eventually become a helicopter pilot in the Army.”

So it may come as no surprise that Mr. Maruna donned feathery wings as an eagle from the Misty Mountains during the fifth grade’s annual Hobbit Day celebration. 

Q: What was your educational journey?

A: I earned a B.S. from the United States Military Academy at West Point and a Master of Science in Counseling and Psychology from Troy University. I have taught part time and full time for a total of 18 years – three of those years serving as a principal. I mostly taught physics and calculus, but I also have taught algebra and Bible.

Q: Why did you decide to become a teacher? 

A: Teaching is something I have always loved. It took me working in the financial industry for four years to realize how much I missed being in the classroom and interacting with students. 

Q: How did you get involved in classical Christian method? 

A: My wife and I were fortunate enough to have educator friends who promoted classical education. After researching and studying it for ourselves, we realized we could offer our children the education we wished we had. I strongly believe that compared to the classical model, there is no other educational method that better prepares young minds to launch into the world and be successful and influential.

Q: What do you enjoy most about teaching at MHA? 

A: I mostly enjoy interacting with the students within the biblical framework established at MHA.

Q: How do you hope your classes impact the lives of your students? 

A: My main desire is that my teaching and my life will inspire the students to develop a love for learning and to want to be excellent in all they do.

Q: What is a favorite memory from your military career? 

A: While I was a helicopter pilot in the Army, I was deployed to Egypt for a special military exercise. During my short time in Egypt, I was able to visit the Great Pyramids and Sphinx of Giza near Cairo.

Q: What are some of your hobbies? 

A: I enjoy fitness, running, and reading literature.

Q: Can you share a little bit about your family? 

A: My wife, Tomi, and I recently celebrated our 30th anniversary. We have three children. Abby and her husband Lee Morwood have two sons. She danced with the Cincinnati Ballet for eight years before turning in her point shoes to be a full-time mom. Our second child, A.J., graduated from Hillsdale College and currently is teaching English at a charter school in Arizona. Our youngest, Jack, graduated from Auburn University and is pursuing a career in hydroponics in North Carolina.

Q: How can we pray for you? 

A: I have been attempting to follow Christ for over 40 years (some days I do better than other days). My heart's desire every day is to become more like Christ. I covet your prayers to help me reflect the light of Christ to my students and to all those around me.