The Hill School develops leaders by immersing highly impactful, authentic learning experiences into academic, residential, and social programming. Hill students leave the School both ready for the next step in their academic journeys and prepared to orchestrate positive change throughout their lives.
- Identify and Address a Challenge
- Make an Impact in the Community
- Define the School's Culture
- Mentor and Support Peers
Because they are looking at a situation with fresh eyes, students often see challenges and opportunities that others miss. Students can run for the Student Government Association to address challenges identified by others; join or start a club to bring attention to an issue on campus or in the community; and bring questions and concerns directly to the attention of faculty members. Students are encouraged to take initiative and given support in their efforts to do so.
Pottstown offers students with a unique opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others. Whether they enroll in Design Thinking for Social Change, participate in afternoon and weekend community service opportunities, or join the Pottstown CARES and Hobart's Run Student Leadership Councils or Student Philanthropy Council, students are able connect directly with town residents, learn from them, and make a difference in their lives. Recent student initiatives have led to a weekend program at the local Boys & Girls Club; the annual Skate Against Cancer fundraiser; and a volunteer partnership between members of the ice hockey teams and the Police Athletic League.
When learning what is acceptable in a community, students look most often to their peers. Every student is encouraged to play their part in maintaining the healthy, positive, close-knit community for which The Hill School is known.
- Members of the Honor Council promote the values of trust and integrity across campus, while members of the Hill Athletic Association model good sportsmanship on the field and promote positive behavior from fans on the sidelines.
- Members of the sixth form are looked to for leadership in promoting the school's traditions. Prefects build a culture of mutual respect and community engagement in the dorms and in the Student Center, while the Big Brothers and Big Sisters represent the best in what it means to be The Family Boarding School as they help new students transition to the school.
Experience breeds empathy, and students have a variety of opportunities to turn that empathy into action by working with their peers.
- Residential prefects serve as role models and lead by example in the dormitory; day student and international prefects do the same for those student populations.
- Students volunteer as fellows in writing, mathematics, world languages, and classics, offering peer tutoring and support to students needing help in those disciplines.
- Peer counselors serve as a means of support for students, while members of the Circle of Trust model behavior for a healthy, substance-free lifestyle.
Eudemonia is a well-being program for third and fourth form students designed to educate students on how they might capitalize upon their human resources to make the most of their potential. Students learn about topics including empathy, managing conflict, resilience, and judgment. The well-being lessons, along with the formal academic curriculum, extracurricular activities, and support provided through the dormitory and adviser system, create the conditions for a flourishing life.
Third and fourth form students take assessments and participate in workshops to help them identify, understand, and use their personal character strengths. Based on research by Martin Seligman at the University of Pennsylvania, this approach raises students' self awareness and helps them understand how they can use their own strengths and values to effectively be a part of, and eventually lead, a group.
Leadership workshops are held throughout the school year that give students the opportunity to improve their leadership skills even if they do not hold formal leadership positions. Sessions include learning how to run a meeting, developing stronger public speaking skills, and addressing conflict resolution techniques. Workshops are also offered each term to support students holding certain leadership positions, such as team captains and dormitory prefects. When interest and demand dictates, longer-term leadership seminars will be offered to explore topics such as project development or adaptive leadership in greater depth.
The Hill provides individual bi-weekly coaching sessions to each residential prefect throughout the academic year. Coaching encourages self-reflection, evaluation, and subsequent motivation to act on the dimensions of leadership that the student identifies as most important and in a way that reflects his or her authentic self.
Personal: At every stage of their Hill School careers, students learn and practice skills that are critical not just for leadership, but for their everyday lives, including time management, organization, and a strong work ethic. As students get older, expectations rise, so that these skills are constantly evolving in response to new and different demands, much as they will throughout students’ lives.
Interpersonal: Strong relationships are at the heart of The Hill School experience. Students learn to build and maintain relationships with faculty and peers, and they learn the importance of these relationships to their own success and the success of others. Through their class work and their co-curricular and residential experiences, students learn to be contributing members of a group, to collaborate with others, and to manage and resolve conflict in ways that have a lasting impact on the community. Older students are role models, mentors, and caretakers of younger students and of the School’s culture and traditions, practicing the same skills that will be critical for effective leadership in college and beyond.
Communication: As part of The Hill’s comprehensive liberal arts curriculum, students develop strong written and oral communications skills. Hill students take part in small group discussions and meetings, learning first how to communicate effectively in these settings and then how to lead them. They practice delivering improvised remarks in dorm meetings and lunch announcements, and prepared speeches in Chapel talks and classroom presentations. Remembering that relationships are the key to successful leadership, students learn how to persuade others in a thoughtful, respectful manner.
Vision and Judgment: As Hill students progress along their academic and social journeys, they learn the importance of gathering information and considering all sides of an issue. They are challenged to develop their critical thinking skills and to question things rather than accept them. Fourth form students are taken through a visioning and goal-setting process that prepares them for the their last two years at The Hill while developing a mindset they will be able to use throughout their personal and professional lives.
Resilience: Fail-forward learning is a cornerstone to a Hill School education to ensure students are able to accept and receive feedback in a positive way. This helps all students develop persistence and a desire to hold themselves accountable.