About Us

The Hill School's 2019 Commencement Ceremony

Headmaster Zack Lehman P'16 '18 offered the welcome and shared a story about a recent chance Hill ties encounter which inspired his remarks. On a trip to West Virginia, he met a taxi driver who shared, as they were conversing on the way to the airport, that coincidentally he attended Hill for one year. He also shared that in addition to driving the taxi, his other job, as member of the West Virginia House of Delegates, kept him busy.

When Mr. Lehman realized as he boarded the plane he never got the man’s name he immediately began to do a search of who it was. The man next to him on the plane, who just so happened to be Senator Joe Manchin, and former West Virginia governor, knew very well who he was: Mike Pushkin. Senator Manchin said, “He’s actually a very successful businessman and musician and drives a cab just to get to know his constituents. Mike is famous for saying that you can’t learn how to help people unless you actually listen to them.
“When you step across the stage today and become a Hill alumnus, know this: you will have the chance – and duty - to help a lot of people,” said Mr. Lehman.

“In the parlance of The Hill’s vision statement, we have prepared you to “orchestrate positive change.” This Mike Pushkin metaphor might be a bit of a stretch, but maybe you’ll help people get to their destinations, or maybe you’ll write and pass laws that help people live a better life. And maybe you’ll do both. If nothing else, maybe you’ll follow Mike Pushkin’s golden rule: You can’t learn how to help people unless you actually listen to them.

The Headmaster then asked the graduating class to offer a collective thanks to those who supported them throughout their respective journeys: parents, grandparents, and siblings; Hill faculty and staff; and the form deans.

Mr. Lehman invited Euan Forrest to address his class as this year's Sixth Form Commencement Speaker. See below to read Euan's talk.

In this historic year celebrating the 20th Anniversary of coeducation, Michelle A. “Shelly” Gyves, Hill School class of 2002 and Trustee, delivered the Commencement address. See below to read Shelly's talk.

Presentation of Special Awards

Headmaster Lehman recognized faculty members who will be leaving The Hill at the conclusion of the school year. They are: Scott Kominkiewicz, assistant director of college counseling; Zachary Wright, mathematics intern; Emily Garvin, instructor of science; Kristen Walter, instructor of mathematics; Wei-Jei DeLucia, instructor of world languages; Sandy Ryder, Wellness Center Director; Jason Coady, director of learning research and development and Athey Family Master of Mathematics; and Dr. Becky Smith, director of counseling.

Headmaster Lehman then called 14 young men and women to the stage to receive special prizes. See below for a complete list of Special Prize Winners and their citations.

Members of the class of 2019 and their family, friends, and Hill faculty all joined voices in singing the School song, “A Thousand Hands,” followed by the official presentation of the diplomas by Chairman of the Board of Trustees Preston G. Athey '67. Graduates also continued a meaningful tradition as new alumni: As they crossed the stage to receive their diplomas, they dropped a gold or silver dollar into a wooden box that was crafted by Austen Parish '13. The coin symbolizes each graduate's first donation to The Hill as an alumnus. The Reverend Khristi Adams, Hill chaplain, concluded the ceremony with the benediction.

The class of 2019 headed for the Dell, many proudly wearing their "Hill Alumni" t-shirts, where they celebrated their new alumni status with the traditional plunge into the water. View a list of graduates below.