Senior Master of History and Social Sciences Chris Drowne ’89 is enjoying what he calls the ultimate professional development experience. Mr. Drowne and Mr. David McCombes from Charterhouse School, Hill’s sister school in Godalming, England, have kicked off a new year and new decade by swapping professional lives for three months.
In December, Drowne, McNally Chair of History and head coach of Hill’s championship varsity boys’ soccer program, traveled to England to prepare to take over McCombes’ Charterhouse responsibilities in the classroom, with the soccer program, and within the residential program during this winter term. Drowne has had the chance “to go back to school” as he prepared for his new educational venture teaching new students a new curriculum and living and working alongside new colleagues. Drowne is teaching seven classes, ranging from third formers to sixth formers and one honors independent study; advising; serving as an adviser to 10 students and dorm affiliate; and coaching Charterhouse’s Boys’ Second XI and Girls’ First and Second XI soccer teams.
After nearly 28 years of teaching and a few graduate programs in the States, the chance to live, study, and work abroad is a dream come true for me, all without having to leave The Hill for more than 89 days.
Charterhouse, one of the leading boarding schools of England founded in 1611, and The Hill School have enjoyed a long history of faculty exchanges, typically for an entire academic year. This new exchange of three months is an opportunity to rekindle that program.
While Drowne lives abroad at Charterhouse, The Hill welcomes David McCombes; his wife, Gillian; and their three daughters to The Hill. The family will reside in the Drowne residence in East Faculty Village as McCombes assumes all of Drowne’s Hill responsibilities – teaching, coaching, advising, and residential. McCombes brings a wealth of experience and knowledge, having served as department chair, head soccer coach, and a program leader at Charterhouse. He has taught across all secondary grades and courses, utilizing a variety of approaches. In addition, he also served in Her Majesty The Queen’s communications office.
McCombes is excited to work with The Hill’s students and faculty to execute our syllabi and even helped to shape them a bit in preparation for this venture. He is eager to lead the final steps of the Oral History Documentary for the third formers and the Advanced History Seminar review of Revolution with the sixth formers, two signature subject explorations for these courses.