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Photographer’s Choice: 2022 Year in Review   
Hill School Photographer, Sarah L. Bender, took thousands of photos at Hill in 2022—these are some of her favorites and the stories behind them. Scroll down to view the photos.
Photo 1: Hockey on High
This top-down photo of the JV girls’ ice hockey team came from a camera mounted to the ceiling of the Hall/Eccleston Hockey Arena. The team stopped mid-practice and laid down on the ice in all their padding just for this photo. I can still hear them laughing.
Photo 2: Huge Fans
These were the reactions from Associate Director of College Counseling Jade Johnson and Instructor of World Languages Gabriela Gomez as the Class of 2022 paraded past on their way to the Commencement.  Ceremony. Their excitement and enthusiasm were so genuine, I wanted to put my camera down and hug them both. If you can hand pick people to be in your cheering section, I’d like to recommend Mrs. Johnson and Ms. Gomez.
Photo 3: Bright Ideas
The teaching and learning at Hill are sophisticated. Students and teachers use a multitude of tools, from whiteboards to smart screens (like this one displaying the Periodic Table of Elements), to learn concepts and become creative problem solvers. I appreciate the beauty of the tools and try to incorporate them whenever I can.
Photo 4: Creative Collaboration
In Hill’s theatre program students learn all the components that go into a production -- from staging to vocal development, choreography to set building and costume design, the students do it all.  In 2022, Hill performed an original musical called Love, Dot! It was a modern retelling of the classic book, film, and musical The Wizard of Oz. Part of any show includes promotion, which is where this photo featuring Geordie ’22 came to life. The set was made up of four different colors of seamless papers, draped at various depths. The cast worked in between, behind, and in front of the paper to produce high-end imagery.
Photo 5: Shared Creations
One of my favorite spaces at Hill is the studio art room. It’s home to Senior Master Teacher of the Arts Ellen Nelson and her students. The space is filled with colorful supplies, projects in various stages of completion, and contagious creative energy. I always take a minute to wander around and just look. It was during one of these wanderings, as I was enjoying the supply of paintbrushes, that I saw this photo in a tiny, water-splattered mirror.
Photo 6: Documenting the Documenting
Smartphones allow students to document their lives, and it’s wonderful to watch them do it. If I am quick enough, I can capture it unfolding with a focus on the phone screen. There were so many selfies being taken in 2022, I started making it a point to capture them happening as often as I could.
Photo 7: Escucha Means to Listen
This is Instructor of World Languages Dr. Romanita Marcano-Ogando. When I made this portrait, incorporating the small white stools she is sitting on was essential. Here’s why: At the start of her classes everyone gathers in a circle, some sitting on these white stools, others on a carpet, and they talk. They might discuss a world event, a personal challenge, or celebrate a success.  For a teacher to start each class by listening to the students is one of many things that makes Hill special.
Photo 8: Clear Translation
One of my ongoing assignments in 2022 was creating an image library for Hill’s World Languages Department. I quickly learned how beautiful the characters were and decided to feature them as a way of showing the department’s course offerings. Here, Adjunct Instructor of Arabic Nahla Abousamra, a native Arabic speaker, welcomed me into her class during small-group instruction.
Photo 9: Nerves? What Nerves?
During new student arrival, I make my way in and out of dorm rooms as students settle in and parents prepare to depart. Naturally, there are nerves and uncertainty. In this instance, just outside the frame, a student and parent were shuffling belongings around, unsure of where to put anything, ultimately overwhelmed by the newness of it all, when in walked Grant ’23 with their luggage. He was beaming, energetic, and completely at home. As soon as the new family saw Grant their nerves dissolved.
Photo 10: A Hidden Gem
In the fall of 2022, I spent a lot of time in The Humphrey Family Writing Center, in the Ryan P. Library building an image bank showcasing the space and its offerings to the Hill Community. There’s warm leather furniture to sink into, Harkness tables for easy collaboration, and windows on three sides, flooding the room with light. ‪During the academic day various levels of English, journalism, and creative writing are taught in this space.  In the evening, students can meet with Writing Fellows.