Meet the Newest Members of The Hill Family
We are pleased to introduce the eight men and women who joined The Hill School faculty for the 2019-2020 school year. This talented group of educators, which includes two alumni, bring a diverse wealth of experience to their respective roles as teachers, dorm parents, coaches, counselors, and mentors. Please click below to read more about Hill's newest faculty.
- Katherine Erickson, Ph.D. – History Fellow
- Laura McConney – Student Life Coordinator
- Lisa Roethling – Director of Counseling
- Rebecca Shipper ’14 – Mathematics Fellow
- Kristin C. Spencer, M.D. P’13 ’14 ’18 '23 – Medical Director
- Jay Spencer ’84 P’13 ’14 ’18 '23 – Athey Family Master of Mathematics and Science
- Meghan Toomey – Assistant Director of College Counseling
- Avinash Vemuri – Computer Science Intern
I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to join Hill full time, after starting as a coach here this spring. From my first days on campus, I have been so impressed by the welcoming sense of community here; I’m so happy to have chosen Hill because it’s a place full of kind and supportive people who share an intense curiosity for the world around them and encourage one another to be the best possible versions of themselves.
Katherine Erickson, Ph.D. – History Fellow
Katherine joins The Hill faculty full-time for the 2019-20 academic year after assisting in the history department and serving as an assistant crew coach for the second half of the 2018-19 year. A graduate of Middlesex School, Katherine matriculated at Stanford University, graduating with a B.A. in art history in 2012. While at Stanford, Katherine was a student-leader and student teacher in the university’s prestigious Rhetoric program, and she was a member of Stanford’s equestrian team.
After graduating from Stanford, Katherine attended Oxford University’s graduate school, completing her Ph.D. in History in May 2019. While at Oxford, Katherine taught in Stanford’s “Stanford Overseas” program, and she walked on to the university’s rowing team, quickly ascending to the top varsity boat and serving as President of the Oxford Boat Club in 2018.
In addition to teaching history at The Hill, Katherine will lead the School’s Forensics (speech and debate) program and she will remain a member of the crew coaching staff.
Every person at this school – faculty, staff, and students – has something special that draws others in. In the larger world, most people don’t take the time to say hello in the morning or to genuinely ask how your day is going. The community at Hill bucks those norms – and does so in dramatic fashion. Those little niceties are just the start of what ultimately becomes deep, true engagement with one another. For me, being surrounded by people who care about you and who you care about is the epitome of what a workplace – and a life – should be.
Laura McConney – Student Life Coordinator
Laura is familiar with The Hill community, having coached in the girls’ ice hockey and lacrosse programs since 2016. In her capacity as Student Life Coordinator, Laura will support various initiatives and programs related to the Deans’ Office, Residential Life, and Student Activities. She will continue to coach in the ice hockey and lacrosse programs and will serve as a dorm parent in Dell Lowndes.
Laura is a graduate of Loomis Chaffee School and Middlebury College. While at Middlebury, she was a four-year member of the perennial Division III power women’s ice hockey team, coached by Bill Mandigo ’79. Prior to joining The Hill community, Laura was a marketing manager at JBT Corporation in Philadelphia.
I had been looking for a couple of years for a job that seemed like the right fit. After learning about the exciting changes in the Counseling department, I realized the opportunity was too good to pass up. The Hill School was the right amount of counseling and management I was looking for. I love the idea of being a part of change, and growing a program to fit a school. This has been a great decision for our family, and I look forward to what the year will bring!
Lisa Roethling – Director of Counseling
Hailing from Wyoming, Lisa earned a B.S. in psychology and a M.S. in counselor education from the University of Wyoming. She is a licensed professional counselor, a licensed addictions professional, and an approved clinical supervisor. Lisa has extensive clinical experience as an adolescent, adult, and family counselor in a varsity of school and outpatient settings. She has been based in Wiesbaden, Germany for 10 years and has served as the clinical program director of Adolescent Support and Counseling Services for the Armed Forces Services Corporation for the past four years. In this capacity, Lisa oversaw 30 clinical staff and supervisors across seven countries and she was responsible for the delivery of clinical school-based behavioral health services for dependents of all U.S. Army personnel abroad.
To me, a home is a place you believe in and a place for which you are willing to fight. As a student, The Hill community provided me with a home: a sense of value and duty that I still lean on today. I chose to return to Hill as a faculty member because of the opportunity to contribute to the community I love and to support its mission of educating young men and women as global citizens.
Rebecca Shipper ’14 – Mathematics Fellow
A native of Magnolia, Del., Becca arrived at The Hill as a fifth form student in 2012. During her two years at The Hill, Becca was a member of the varsity field hockey, girls’ basketball, and softball teams, serving as captain of the field hockey and softball teams during her sixth form year; she was a co-president of The Hill Athletics Association; and she was the female head prefect. A standout on the softball diamond, Becca attended the University of Florida for her freshman year of college and was a member of the Gators’ 2015 national championship team. She transferred to the University of North Carolina Charlotte for her final three years, graduating summa cum laude with a degree in mathematics and actuarial science. She is currently pursuing a M.A. in mathematics from Villanova University, where she also is serving as a teaching assistant, research assistant, and tutor. Becca was an assistant girls’ basketball coach and assistant softball coach at Hill during the 2018-19 school year, and she was appointed head softball coach in May.
I learned way back in 1989 just how special The Hill is when I accompanied my (then) fiancé, Jay (aka Mr. Spencer), to his 5-year reunion. I had returned to campus every five years since that time, until we moved to campus 10 years ago when I had the privilege of being a faculty spouse, Hill parent, and dorm parent. The opportunities available to students and the adult community alike are unparalleled in my experience. It has been a great privilege to return and contribute to the daily tempo of the school. The “place” is great but the people really make this place soar.
Kristin C. Spencer, M.D. P’13 ’14 ’18 '23 – Medical Director
Having lived at The Hill from 2009 until 2016, Kristin is a familiar face within The Hill community and knows the School and school structure well. In her capacity as Medical Director, Kristin will lead operations in the Wellness, Counseling, and Athletics Training Centers. Kristin holds a B.S. in biomedical engineering from Vanderbilt University, an M.S. in electrical engineering from Duke University, her M.D. from the College of Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University, and she completed her Integrated Residency in Emergency Medicine at the University of Connecticut. Board Certified in emergency medicine, Kristin has worked extensively as an emergency room physician and as medical director for the Reading Healthy Physician Network’s urgent care locations.
I first set foot on campus in 1979 as a second former. When I graduated in 1984, those five years were the most I had spent in any one place in my life. After a 20-year Navy career I knew I wanted to return, so I did in the fall of 2009. After seven years (again breaking the record for how long I had spent in one place) I ventured forth to try something new. Although I had a wonderful three years in many ways, I am happy to say that it feels good to be home.
Jay Spencer ’84 P’13 ’14 ’18 '23 – Athey Family Master of Mathematics and Science
A 1984 Hill graduate, Jay returns to The Hill for his second stint of employment, having previously served on the faculty from 2009 until 2016. After graduating from The Hill, Jay attended Vanderbilt University where he earned both a B.E. in electrical engineering and mathematics and an M.S. in electrical engineering. He then entered the United States Naval Academy, serving the country for 20 years as a U.S. Naval Officer.
Following his distinguished Naval career, Jay joined The Hill faculty in 2009 and served as a math teacher, director of studies, dormitory head, and head swimming coach for seven years, at which point he was appointed Head of School at Montgomery Academy in Alabama. After two years at Montgomery, Jay decided to return to his passion for teaching and coaching and spent the 2018-19 year at Kent School in Connecticut. He and his wife, Kristin, the School’s new Medical Director, are excited to return to The Hill with their youngest son, David ’23.
Initially, I was attracted to Hill because of the superb caliber of academics and extra-curricular opportunities. The Hill campus is full of opportunities for community members to learn and grow. As a college counselor, coach, and dorm parent I am eager to work with the students and guide them as they learn and grow. Additionally, since my family arrived on campus, we have been overwhelmed by the welcome we have received. The amount of care, love, and support has been truly amazing. We have found a home here already and cannot imagine a better environment for our family. The values encompassed in the motto Whatsoever Things Are True are lived daily across all aspects of life here on the Hill. We feel fortunate to be a part of this community and blessed for our three daughters to live and grow up in such a wonderful environment.
Meghan Toomey – Assistant Director of College Counseling
Prior to arriving at Hill, Meghan spent three years as the Director of College Counseling at Doane Academy, a day school in Burlington, N.J. Meghan was a standout ice hockey player at Kimball Union Academy and then at St. Lawrence University, where she was a two-year captain for the women’s ice hockey team, which reached the NCAA Division I Final in 2001. Meghan graduated from St. Lawrence with a B.S. in English and psychology, and she earned an M.S. in applied educational psychology – school counseling from Northeastern University.
Meghan is a veteran boarding school employee, having worked in college counseling, admission, coaching, and student life positions at both Kents Hill School in Maine and at Kimball Union. She also played a season of professional hockey in the National Women’s Hockey League. She will be a dorm parent in Upper School East with her husband, Michael, and their three children.
The biggest reason I am thrilled to be joining the Hill faculty is the sense of community that permeates throughout the campus. Throughout my interview process and first few weeks on campus, I have seen first hand that between students, faculty, and staff, everyone at Hill demonstrates a high degree of respect for others and themselves, and seeks to contribute positively to their community and those around them. Beyond that, I am impressed by how Hill pushes to be innovative in many aspects without sacrificing their long and storied traditions.
Avinash Vemuri – Computer Science Intern
Avi comes to The Hill having recently completed his B.A. in economics with a sequence in computer science from Claremont McKenna College.
A native of Portland, Oregon, Avi was a nationally ranked junior tennis player and he was the top-ranked player in the Pacific Northwest. Avi played at the top singles position for all four years of high school; he also was a National Merit Scholarship finalist and participated in DECA and debate.
At Claremont McKenna, Avi was a member of the college’s nationally ranked men’s tennis program; the Stags spent much of the spring 2019 season as the top-ranked team in the country and finished as runner-up in the NCAA Tournament. During his junior year, Avi compiled an individual record of 22-3 in singles play, which ranks ninth all-time in program history for single-season win percentage.