Hill School - Review #4

Hill School
5

About the Author:

College Enrolled Johns Hopkins University
Home Town, State (Country) Plainfield, VT
Years Attended Boarding School 4
Activities During Boarding School Devoted much extracurricular activity to photography --- active in leadership of Camera Club. Sports occupy the afternoon hours of with all students participating in some sports activity. I played on soccer teams, gymnastics in the winter, and track in the spring.

Reflections and Advice:

1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
Student body is comprised of motivated individuals from a diverse background. A high ratio of advanced degree masters to students. Well endowed with a very active alumni involvement. A dynamic Headmaster and a board of trustees open to an innovative curriculum. A new engineering program is unique in secondary education and merges well with a traditional liberal arts curriculum. It continues a tradition of being known as a Family Boarding School, with a very close connection to caring faculty members.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
I learned to be resilient, to keep pushing for better solutions to problems. I learned how to act independently as well as working and living with others in a harmonious manner. I learned how to be assertive, how to get along with my friends and associates.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
Based upon my development at that time, I'd not do anything differently. Based upon what I know now after living another 65+ years, is to relax, don't take everything so seriously, to realize that others as well as teachers are all basically reasonable people and are more approachable than I thought they were at that time.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
I liked that it was away from home and a place where I could act independently. I liked the opportunities to be with folks who became friends. I liked the moral values exemplified by the masters and their families.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
The school has changed so much in the past 65 years that there is little now which existed then.

Academics:

1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
I most liked the small classroom sizes, where I was able to receive individual attention. Some classes were set up in a traditional manner, others were conducted in a less formal round table seminar style. The masters as well as their families were knowledgeable and inspiring --- not only in the classroom but in the dormitories and dining-room as well.

Athletics:

1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Compulsory athletics --- everyone participated in a Fall, Winter, & Spring sports activity. While attention was paid to Varsity sports, the athletics program paid equivalent attention to all teams. The gym facilities rival those of most colleges, accommodating a wide range of sports activity. I liked that I could choose the seasonal sport I wanted and know it was available & well coached. Teams at all levels had an opportunity to play other schools.

Art, Music, and Theatre:

1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
I personally was not involved with these aspects of the school. We did, however participate as an audience for those who were. In arts, if you include making things as part of art, I did participate in a program of metal work and wood work in their Arts & Crafts building.

Extracurricular Opportunities:

1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
There is a large range of extra-curricular activities to suit the interests of most every student. Students are encouraged to expand beyond the work accomplished in their classes, and pursue their other interests. I personally was interested in photography, and had encouragement and time to be engaged in taking, developing and printing photos for our student newspaper, The Hill News" as well as the yearbook and other publications.

Dorm Life:

1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
Learning to live with and get along with others in dorms is a great life learning. I am an only child, so this was my first opportunity to experience the give & take of sharing a room with a roommate, and being part of the family life of a hall or house. I got along with some roommates, and had falling outs with others --- all a learning experience. In my day, there was no access to food outside of regular dining hours, but I believe that has now changed. Rooms were assigned and the first year, roommates were assigned. In subsequent years, while rooms were assigned, we could choose our own roommates. .

Dining:

1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
When I attended, there were three sit-down meals a day, with assigned seats in the dining hall at large tables, each end of which was presided by a master and his family. The hours were set, and attendance taken. We rotated at waiting tables. Our seats were rotated around the table periodically so we got to meet everyone. The food was nutritious but was definitely "institution food", not always tasty but the lesson learned is that it's now easy to eat anything. I don't believe the school still has quite a rigid meal schedule, and there are more buffet style meals and more choice.

Social and Town Life:

1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
Hill is in Pottstown. When I was attending we could visit downtown on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons --- otherwise it was off limits. Other than getting a change of scenery for a few hours, I didn't really like anything about it.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
Back in the 1940's when I attended, there was no social life other than our dormitory living. .

Daily Schedule:

Weekday
7:00 AMWake up bell
7:30 AMBreakfast
8:00 AMWork Job, make bed, clean room
9:00 AMBegin morning classes
12:00 AMLunch
1:00 PMAfternoon classes
2:00 PMAthletics
5:00 PMShower, get ready for dinner
6:00 PMDinner
7:00 PMChapel, followed by study hall, lights out at 10pm
Weekend
7:00 AMWake up
7:30 AMBreakfast
8:00 AMWork Job, make bed, clean room
9:00 AMBegin morning classes
12:00 AMLunch
1:00 PMGo to town
4:30 PMReturn to campus, free time till dinner
6:00 PMDinner
7:00 PMChapel
7:00 AMWeekly movie, followed by free time & bed 10:30

Alumni Reviews
  Review School

  • Review Description
  • Hill School Alumni #1
    Class of 2016
    5 Stars   11/3/2016
    Colorado Mesa University
    A smaller number of students attend the Hill School than most other boarding schools that I know of. This allows a more personal approach to be taken by the teachers and dorm parents, the. . .
  • Hill School Alumni #2
    Class of 2002
    5 Stars   10/19/2004
    Pepperdine University
    The two aspects of The Hill School that make it unique are the professors' relationship with the students and the traditions at The Hill. First off, professors are involved in all aspects of school life. . .
  • Hill School Alumni #3
    Class of 1980
    5 Stars   6/12/2017
    College of William and Mary (B.A., MBA)
    It's been 50 years but the school has developed a partnership with the town of Pottstown which is unique across the country. Several alumni (in my class of '67, including the Governor of Pennsylvania). . .
  • Hill School Alumni #4
    Class of 1980
    5 Stars   11/29/2016
    Johns Hopkins University
    Student body is comprised of motivated individuals from a diverse background. A high ratio of advanced degree masters to students. Well endowed with a very active alumni involvement. A dynamic Headmaster. . .
  • Hill School Alumni #5
    Class of 1980
    5 Stars   12/3/2016
    Transylvania University
    The very low student to faculty ratio was very instrumental in selecting Hill as my choice for a boarding school. Interaction with teachers was very important and they were always willing to accommodate their schedules. . .
  • Show more reviews (2 reviews)
Recent Articles
5 Challenges Parents Face
October 24, 2017
How to handle five basic challenges involved in choosing a boarding school.
Choosing a School: Comparing Schools
September 28, 2017
Use a spreadsheet to develop your initial list of schools. Here's how.
How Can an Educational Consultant Help with a Boarding School Search?
September 28, 2017
Finding the right boarding school for your child is one of the most important and expensive decisions you will ever make.