The Hill School was founded in 1851 by the Rev. Matthew Meigs as the Family Boarding School for Boys and Young Men, making it the first such family boarding school in the nation -- that is, the first school where faculty members lived with their students. After 163 years, The Family Boarding School continues to place a strong emphasis on family and community and providing a rigorous liberal arts education for young men and women to prepare them for college, careers, and life. Read more about the earlier history of The Hill School.
In July 2012, Zachary G. Lehman became the School’s 11th Headmaster. Mr. Lehman arrived with the vision for The Hill to become the most traditional and the most innovative secondary school in the country.
The framework for achieving this ambitious goal was established in the fall of 2012 with adoption of the 2012-2017 Strategic Plan. Within the core mission of preparing Hill students for college, careers, and life as citizens of the world, the School will focus on six priorities addressing our students, educational program, faculty, campus, town, and ultimately, Hill’s future.
On June 30, 2013, The Hill School completed a successful $5.7 million capital campaign for the East Campus Faculty Village, expanding Hill’s campus to the east. Construction on the new homes began in early 2013 and eight faculty families moved in to the homes prior to the start of the 2013-14 school year. In June 2014, three additional homes were dedicated, thanks to the generosity of the Class of 1964. The School also finalized a successful $5.52 million campaign for four new athletics facilities: the Briggs S. Cunningham ’26,’50 Field and Harry S. Price Field (artificial turf fields for field hockey, soccer, and lacrosse); the William West Hauser ’81 Track; and a new soccer pitch. These state-of-the-art facilities were completed in the early fall of 2013.
The School has benefited from significant enhancements to Hill’s academic and residential programs including technology updates to campus wireless network infrastructure; a “1+1 Program” (iPad + Mac/PC) during the 2013-14 academic year to engage active learning both in and out of the classroom; and installation of AppleTVs and wireless projectors in classrooms to help facilitate this collaborative learning. Also, in 2013 the School began a well-informed examination of The Hill’s educational program, led by Academic Dean John Dollhopf, with the aim of creating a curriculum that uses the best practices of 21st century pedagogy. New learning spaces were renovated or added around campus including a Mac computer lab in the School’s Ryan Library, the Jon Silverstein ’09 Electronic Media Studio, and the Levis ’45 – Alexandre ’75 Center for Humanities.
Mr. Lehman firmly believes in supporting revitalization efforts in Pottstown and is working to actively strengthen the School’s relationship with our hometown, both steps he believes are crucial to make Hill the preeminent school in the nation. In the fall of 2013, in collaboration with the Pottstown School District and Borough of Pottstown, The Hill organized two inaugural Pottstown CARES days – an educational community day held on Hill’s campus and a community clean up in which all Hill students, faculty, and staff participated.
In January 2014, the Board approved a new Campus Master Plan with four main objectives: preserve the essential character and quality of the core campus as defined by the main academic quadrangle (the Chapel, Academic Center, Upper School, and Library) by renovating renovate them and other buildings on campus - such as Widener Building, Sweeney Gymnasium, and Wendell Dormitory; unify the quadrangle with the other parts of campus, including the Center For The Arts, the athletics complex, the Far Fields, the green in front of Rolfe and Foster Dormitories, and the west campus by renovating campus buildings and open space to create a unified experience; enhance the character and quality of the campus by building new facilities (STEM center, visual arts center, humanities center) to make The Hill School a leader in education, and creating new, high quality open spaces and landscaped, pedestrian pathways that enhance the campus experience; and steward our invaluable campus resources by developing a campus sustainability plan that will make Hill more carbon-neutral as well as design guidelines that will provide clear direction for the renovation of existing facilities and the design of all future facilities and open spaces.
To fulfill the goals set forth in the Strategic Plan and Campus Master Plan, under Headmaster Lehman’s leadership the Advancement Office is preparing for a comprehensive fundraising campaign, The Strength of All: The Hill School’s Campaign for Preeminence, to begin in July 2014.