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Congratulations, Class of 2021!

May 24, 2021

Six formers prepare to become alumni amid weekend of traditions By DIEMMY DANG ’24 STAFF WRITER

This past year, Hill has had to become increasingly more inventive in finding ways to continue longheld traditions like Chapel and Convocation while modifying student life to prioritize campus wellness. One of the biggest challenges that the administration was posed with was making sure that the 6th form would be able to enjoy the many hallmarks of their senior year in a way that did not put their health at risk. Hill’s solution was a 6th form weekend, in which underformers leave campus on May 26, seven days earlier than planned, as the 6th form remains on campus for the next three days until their commencement on May 29. The early departure of the 3rd, 4th and 5th forms, done to decrease the risk of COVID-19 spread, will help make many revered graduation traditions possible. According to Larissa Snyder, a 6th form dean, it is hoped that creating a smaller “bubble” of students will allow for a safer, but still complete, set of end of the year events for the graduating form. “Over H-Term, we evaluated the pandemic status and started making plans. If we wanted to provide the 6th form the opportunity to experience the traditions that they have been looking forward to since they were 3rd formers, then creating a smaller bubble was the best course of action to make that happen. We’ve been working with Mr. Lehman, Dr. Spencer, the Community Life Office, and the Office of Strategy Management to plan those events,” Snyder explained. Leading up to the underform departure, 6th form coffee and tea has consistently occurred in the Headmaster’s Garden, and seated dinners, which have not happened all year due to COVID-19 protocols, have been held for 6th formers and faculty. Events like the Strawberry Festival (which is scheduled for May 25) and The Dial yearbook dedication (which happened on May 17) are also slated to happen before the underform leaves. Planned for the 6th form weekend is a full itinerary of long-awaited events that have traditionally served as trademarks of a 6th form year at Hill. Karaoke Night, the 6th Form Retreat, 6th Form Dance, Legacy Tea, Alumni Induction Brunch, and Class Day Awards are all scheduled to take place between May 26 and May 29 leading up to Commencement. As the weekend approaches, many 6th formers excitedly anticipate the opportunity to graduate and celebrate with their friends. “I’m excited to move into Upper School Dorm and be with my friends for the last few days. I felt a bit of a disconnect while living in Rolfe [as a prefect]. Not a bad disconnect, but I did miss hanging out with them, so I’m definitely looking forward to that,”

said Claire Hartemink ’21. While many in the Class of 2021 are grateful to be able to take part in the graduation festivities, some have voiced disappointment at the incomplete send-off that the absence of the underform will provide. “I feel happy, but also disappointed. I’m happy that we get to graduate and hopefully jump in the Dell, but I’m disappointed in the school for not being able to have the 3rd, 4th, and 5th form here to celebrate it with us. That’s very important to me, because I want to say goodbye to all my friends on graduation day, and I cannot do that,” explained Jaden Nyce ’21. Payton Jobson ’23 voiced a similar sentiment. “I’m bummed that I can’t see them graduate. But if that’s something we can’t do, to go with them, I understand that it’s a safety thing. I’m not gonna say it’s wrong when it’s a safety thing, although it is a real bummer.” Nevertheless, the school has aimed to provide the 6th form with a graduation as close to normalcy as possible. Both Snyder and fellow 6th form dean Ed Turner have voiced hopes that it will be a worthwhile experience for the Class of 2021, one that will hopefully culminate with a jump in the Dell.

Through their lens: 6th form year We asked the Class of 2021 to submit photos of their favorite memories of their year.

“More than anything, I just hope that the 6th form is able to create some lasting, positive memories during that time. Having been with the class since they arrived as 3rd formers, I really look forward to celebrating with them during those last few days on campus,” Snyder said.


Leaving a legacy: Hill students and 6th formers reflect on a politically faculty discuss class gift tradition turbulent year The class gift is a time-honored tradition of the Hill School that has transformed the campus year by year. This year, the gift from the Class of 2021 is the new Inclusion Garden that will be installed across from the Chapel.

Many students found themselves newly aware of racial injustice in their own communities that they hadn’t recognized before. However, to many students of color, these stories and the emotions that followed them were all too familiar.



(counter-clockwise, outer to inner) 1. Upper School East prefects on move-in day. Photo courtesy of Poppy Otten. 2. Hannah Gordon, Kaitlyn Rosario, Col­ leen Quinn, Julia Weiss, Cassidy Beeding and girls softball celebrates senior night. Photo courtesy of Hannah Gordon. 3. Susanna Soderman, Izzy Feldman, Elle Lagor, Bella Basile, Poppy Otten and Tess McArdle celebrate spring Lawrenceville weekend at the boys lacrosse game. Photo courtesy of Pop­py Otten. 4 . Upper School 2 West on dorm photo day. Photo courtesy of Jayden Nyce 5. 5th and 6th formers on the first night of J-Ball. Photo courtesy of Ryan Fish. 6. More 6th formers, Mamadou Bah, Sasjha Mayfield, Cynthia Williams and Tommy Simpson, at Lawrenceville weekend. Photo courtesy of Sasjha Mayfield. 7. Aidan Dunn and boys lacrosse celebrate a victory. Photo courtesy of Aidan Dunn. 8 6th formers Tan­ner Kontir, Zoya Holin, Carter Straub and Colleen Quinn enjoy 6th form coffee in the Headmaster’s Garden. Photo courtesy of Zoya Holin. 9. 6th form Hilltones and Trebles take a group photo. Photo courtesy of Jayden Nyce. 10. 6th formers watch the sunset from the Far Fields on the last morning of fall term. Photo courtesy of Raina Shah.

Campus News

The Hill News | A2

May 24, 2021

DEI reflects and prepares for change By OLIVIA MOFUS ’22 FEATURES EDITOR

On April 20, Derek Chauvin, a white former Minneapolis Police officer, was found guilty of all charges in the death of George Floyd, a black man. In the aftermath of such a historical verdict, Hill’s very own Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council finds itself evaluating their recent school year and pondering future endeavors. Previously a committee and now a council, DEI announced their new batch of student leaders for the upcoming school year in a series of April 23 Instagram posts. The new positions include: DEI Student Leadership CoChairs, Religious Life representatives, International Student representatives, Underrepresented Minorities representatives, Accessibility representatives, LGBTQIA+ Support representatives, New Student representatives, and Young Women and Gender representatives. “We’ve identified particular groups or demographics that we wanted to put a leader or two over where their focus is to serve that community moving forward,” said Director of DEI Rev. Khristi Adams. Olivia Kalu ’22 will be DEI’s new student leadership co-chair with John Ju ’23. As next year will be her first time on the council, she looks forward to “continuing the wonderful work that the DEI Committee has done this year and working with the Leadership representatives for DEI, and other clubs on campus.”

Nic Li ’22 will also be one of the four International Student representatives. Through his work as co-president of the East Asian Club with Stefanie Li ’23 (who will also be an International Student representative), he organized events such as Kahoots with bubble tea with the help of Administrative Coordinator and International Family Liaison Helen Qiu, the international prefects, and members of DEI. “I am most looking forward to being able to make a difference in the Hill community with such a diverse and motivated group of students,” Li said. “I got a glimpse of what such an experience would be like this year through my club, and can only begin to imagine what can be accomplished next year on a more influential platform.” Regarding DEI’s future role in the Hill School, Adams recalled the words of her former professor Eddie Glaude when he spoke on NBC Just Now about the Chauvin verdict: “He [Glaude] said justice is a practice, not an end. That goes into my thoughts around what I’d like to see with DEI here at this school overall and beyond these moments.That it wouldn’t be just one day that we’d do something, like an event or a program, but a practice. That is what we’re trying to instill in the DNA of the Hill community, we want it to be a part of the culture.” DEI hopes to accomplish this goal through their new initiative called Courageous Conversations. It will function similarly to the advisory

DEI discussions about the book “Racial Profiling: Everyday Inequality” by Alison Marie Behnke. The main difference is that now, faculty have been practicing such difficult or uncomfortable conversations so they can be better prepared with students and each other. Additionally, DEI’s theme for next year will be “Unity Through our Differences,” Kalu said. “We want to make sure all student voices are heard and celebrate The Hill School’s diverse community.” Current co-president of DEI Iha Chikkala ’21 reflected on the challenges they faced this year and their goals. “It’s definitely been a tough year, and I think one of the hardest parts was establishing why it matters,” Chikkala said. “I think DEI this year had to do a lot of work with empathy and realizing the need for certain conversations and protection even when the topic doesn’t affect you.” Adams’ overreaching plan for next year’s DEI is a fundamental change of attitude and action. They hope to move away from merely reacting to national events. “We plan to address things head on. We will no longer just be a responsive community, but a proactive one,” Adams said. “And we will not only focus on racial trauma or LGBTQ bias or any other types of discrimination. We will focus on celebrating our communities too. We love being who we are!”

We plan to address things head on. We will no longer just be a responsive community, but a proactive one. And we will not only focus on racial trauma or LGBTQ bias or any other types of discrimination. We will focus on celebrating our communities too. We love being who we are!

John Ju and Olivia Kalu (on Zoom) are the new DEI Council co-chairs. PHOTO BY HARLIV SINGH ’23

—Director of DEI Rev. Khristi Adams

The Class of 2021 garden will serve as a gathering place for students.


Leaving a legacy: Hill students and faculty discuss class gift tradition By CARRIE SHANG ’23 STAFF WRITER

The class gift is a time-honored tradition of the Hill School that has transformed the campus year by year. This year, the gift from the Class of 2021 is the new Inclusion Garden that will be installed across from the Chapel. Due to COVID-19 regulations, the Headmaster’s Garden became a pivotal part of the 6th formers’ experience in their final year at Hill, which is why creating a beautiful space around it seemed like a suitable decision. “We wanted to enhance that area around the Headmaster’s Garden because we realized how special it is,” Form Dean Ed Turner said. “The connection to it for this class is certainly related to the restrictions imposed on students this year.” The process of choosing a class gift involves the school’s administrative offices along with 6th form advisors. “Generally, the Office of Institutional Giving works with the Form Advisers and the School Administration to identify appropriate projects that also are a priority for the school,” Headmaster Zack Lehman stated in an email. According to Class Secretary Tommy Simpson ’21, the 6th formers themselves did not have a say in what their class gift was going to be. “I think the class should give money to something that they believe brought

them together and something that they believe in,” Simpson said. “With that being said, I think they did very well. The Headmasters Garden is a very important space for our class, so I would like to thank everyone involved in choosing our gift. I think that this space will be a place we can physically come back to and enjoy.” Other 6th form students share the sentiment that the money should go towards something meaningful for their class and that students should play a bigger part in choosing what they leave behind as their legacy at Hill. “I wish we had more say in this,” Tabby Mastrangelo ’21 said. “A garden is nice, but we end up raising the money to fund it, so I would rather it can go to groups or projects that can genuinely help students and address student needs.” Despite any disagreements about its format, the class gift is still an opportunity for the 6th form to give thanks and leave their mark on the Hill campus. “Every Sixth Form has taken on the responsibility to give back to the School in honor of their experience and the faculty and staff members who have supported them along their Hill journey,” Lehman stated in an email. “It is also a way of respecting the many alumni who have come before them and have made their Hill education possible with their own giving.”

Hill’s future will feature new construction and academic adjustments By ALEKSANDR GLAMAZDIN ’22 STAFF WRITER

In the 2021-22 school year, The Hill School will see a multitude of changes – from improvements around the campus to some shifts in the academic schedule. Headmaster Zack Lehman said that the school is planning to complete several projects that could not be finished because of COVID-19. Next year, Hill plans to make full use of the Shirley Quadrivium Center, when social distancing and classroom size limits will no longer be necessary. The science, history, and world language classes taught there are going to be moved to either the Academic Building or the Quadrivium next year, and the Dell Science modular building is being eliminated. A temporary dorm will be built in its place to house up to 28 fifth and sixth form girls. John Giannikas, dean of community life, said that the new “bespoke” custom dormitory would potentially last for four years, depending on how quickly the funds will be raised to build the new four-dormitory complex near Wendell, which is expected to be completed by fall 2023. Even though it is a temporary

building, it will look exactly like a permanent dorm – “You can’t tell,” Giannikas said. The dorm will be surrounded by an artificial garden facing the Dell and will have air conditioning, new furniture and multiple common rooms. Giannikas said that the dorm “will likely become a very popular destination.” Apart from the new temporary dorm, a number of landscaping and renovation projects are planned for this summer and the next academic year. The Brickhouse by Dutch Village is being turned into the Warner Center for Spiritual Life and Equity. It will become a gathering space for students to “celebrate, plan club events and discuss matters of spiritual life and equity,” Lehman said. He added that there will be some comfortable seating, a big TV screen, a renovated outdoor area and a kitchen. Rev. Kristi Adams will assume the dean of spiritual life and equity position next year, and her office will be located in the Warner Center. The renovation of the Headmaster’s Garden by the class of 1971 is planned to begin this summer and be completed by Lawrenceville

Weekend next fall. “There will be a permanent pergola - a place for students to gather; there will be nicer seating; there will be an outdoor fireplace (in addition to the fire pits), and they are restoring it to its original design,” Lehman said. Other changes on campus include Robins House in Dutch Village getting a new common room, renovation of the Chapel’s stained glass, the conversion of the mailroom into a new Student Leadership Center, the renovation of the Dell Field bleachers, and the improvement of infrastructure in a number of dorms. When it comes to academics, Hill will try to revert to its former practices – remote learning will not be a general option, for instance. Academic Dean Katy Hudak said, “Those OWL cameras are going in the closet, and we’re going to lock the door.” The weekly academic schedule is expected to return to “a mix of short and long classes,” something similar to what it was pre-COVID. It is expected to become available to the students before the end of the year. Lehman believes that there have been some “silver linings” this year, as it pertains to academics, particularly H-Term. The new educational


program will happen next year as well, in between the Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks. Students will be able to take school-offered classes or take an internship, but the final structure of the period is still being developed.

Overall, the final ambition is to come back to the orthodox Hill experience. “It is certainly our hope to return to normal – in terms of how we interact as a community,” Lehman said.

Campus News

The Hill News | A2

May 24, 2021

Hill welcomes two alumni to the Board of Trustees By OLIVIA KALU ’22 STAFF CONTRIBUTOR

Over the past school year, the Hill School Board of Trustees welcomed new members, including Darnell J. Morrow ‘10 and Max Zhang ‘09. The two trustees will be working with various offices across Hill’s campus. Max Zhang ‘09 was the first student to attend Hill from mainland China. Zhang attended Carleton College, where he graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in international relations and a concentration in political economy. Presently, Zhang works in the education sector and is one of the Founding Partners at Shang NancyFriends. As a trustee, he works closely with the Admission and College Counseling Offices and the Institutional Giving and Education Committees. Zhang has been very involved with Hill since he graduated. As a paid pianist in college, Zhang would often give donations to the school and would organize and hold events for Hill.

For trustees, their job is to protect the school, make sure the school is on the right track, and take the school to the next level. The Hill School changed my life, and I am happy to support, make a lasting impact, and improve areas of the school.


and recognizes issues brought to him and works to improve them. During his time at Hill, Zhang served as a prefect in the Upper School dormitory and was president of the orchestra. He built close relationships with his classmates and teachers and remained in close contact with them. Since his time here many new facilities have been added. “The campus, buildings, and dorms are a lot nicer. The rooms are bigger and there are washing machines!” remarked Zhang, noting that the core – “the family boarding school” – values have not changed. Darnell J. Morrow ‘10 joined the Board of Trustees in January 2021. Morrow grew up in New York in a multi-cultural working-class family.

In an email, Morrow wrote, “The Trustee role requires versatility and can range from interacting with current students to understand how their

—Max Zhang ’09 As Zhang discussed his role as a trustee, he said, “For trustees, their job is to protect the school, make sure the school is on the right track, and take the school to the next level.” He added, “The Hill School changed my life, and I am happy to support, make a lasting impact, and improve areas of the school.” Zhang interacts with parents and students from China; he listens


After graduating, Morrow attended Bates College and earned a B.A. in politics and minored in French and francophone studies. In 2017, he earned his J.D. from Washington and Lee University School of Law. He is a member of the Campus Planning, Legal, and Student Life, Health, and Wellness Committees. Currently, Morrow works in Washington, D.C. as an associate at Krooth & Altman LLP. As a trustee, Morrow works alongside others to ensure Hill is meeting its core mission of providing a rigorous and challenging liberal arts education that prepares students to thrive in college, careers, and life. For this to be done, the trustees work closely with Headmaster Zack Lehman to set the long- and short-term goals to improve education, health and DEI at Hill.

Max Zhang ‘09 (right) during his time at Hill PHOTO COURTESY OF MAX ZHANG ‘09

day-to-day experience is going to prepare for and participating in the Board’s meetings.” Morrow uses his experiences from Hill and his legal expertise to guide his decisions in fulfilling his role. “I certainly have a role to play in ensuring that Hill continues to strive to have a curriculum and community that reflects the diverse and ever-evolving world in which we all live. I will also strive to ensure that the Board is always proactively working for equity, particularly socio-economic, and inclusion for all current and future members of The Hill Community.” Reflecting on his time at Hill, Morrow stated that he thoroughly enjoyed his experience and made several life-long friendships with teachers and classmates. When asked in an email how Hill has improved since his time on campus, Morrow responded, “Over the past decade, the Board and Headmaster have significantly improved the School’s infrastructure (including the Far Fields, East Campus Faculty Village, Dining Hall, Hillrest Dormitory, Shirley Quadrivium Center, Wells-Davidson Soccer Pitch, and Hobart’s Run which have all been modernized, expanded, or newly built), the courses offered, and the overall quality of the student experience.” Although there have been several improvements to Hill, Morrow stated that several vital aspects have not changed: “The culture of seated meals, Chapel Talks, study hall, and Headmaster’s Holidays help preserve the core family boarding school identity.”

The culture of seated meals, Chapel Talks, study hall, and Headmaster’s Holidays help preserve the core family boarding school identity. Darnell J. Morrow ‘10 (second from right) during his time at Hill.


—Darnell J. Morrow ’10

6th formers take on college admissions amidst uncertainty, college counseling looks ahead to 2021-22 By EMMA GRAY ’22 STAFF CONTRIBUTOR

When asked about this year’s cycle, College Counselor Jade Johnson said 2020-21 has been a “unicorn, strange year” for college admissions. “We’ve had to do more intel research than we’ve had before,” she explained. “I also think that emphasis on writing was even more this year than years before,” Johnson added in the light of many schools not requiring students to submit their standardized test scores. Sasjha Mayfield ’21 did not submit her SAT scores because she felt that she was not prepared well enough to take the SAT. She also said she does not like the fact that a number decides whether a student is accepted or rejected: “I wanted admissions officers to look at my application holistically and feel that I deserve admission because of my accomplishments and endless potential, not because of a test score.” Johnson also said that it was harder to pick a college because students were unable to visit their schools. “I think it’s very tough for kids to make a decision about where they want to go if they don’t have access to physically visiting it, so just being constrained to virtual events was definitely trying.” Mayfield acknowledged that not being able to visit schools was a “major downside for a lot of people,” but she added that she did not have that issue. “I had previously visited all of my top choice schools pre-pandemic, so


that wasn’t a factor in my personal decision-making process.” In contrast, Noorie Dhingra ’21 applied Early Decision, without ever having visited. “Though I was unable to visit my top school, I don’t believe that I missed out. Instead, it made me look deeper into campus culture, from researching the University’s clubs to reading articles published by the student newspaper. In fact, I still haven’t visited even though I have known where I will be going for over 6 months now. I’m not really in a rush since I know I’ll be there in August, and I am confident in the decision I made.” The college application process for athletes was greatly im-

pacted by COVID-19. Cynthia Williams ’21, a basketball player, lost many opportunities to play in front of coaches due to the pandemic; “It also just robbed me of that experience of traveling and being with my team and just getting recruited,” elaborated Williams. Fortunately for her, she was able to visit all of the schools she applied to. Students who are going into college arts had to audition virtually. Students who are playing a sport in college were able to send in-game film to coaches. Johnson said students auditioning for programs such as theater were able to do so virtually. That could be either a “blessing or a curse,” she explained. “If

you’re a student who can portray themselves through video without having that interaction, playback time and communication great. But if you’re a student where that isn’t your strong suit that could maybe potentially hurt you.” Johnson feels like next year is going to be interesting for current 5th formers because this is such a different year. She said it could be difficult to counsel students on how decisions will go next year because this year’s process has been so unusual and unpredictable. As what could be another strange year approaches, Johnson said it’s important to go back to the basics. “I think this year is gonna be -- this summer and next fall -- is really honing in on our relationships with schools.” Head of College Counseling Ellen Dietrich added, “There are many elements of the college process that students can control, and some they cannot. Pandemic or not, students should always prioritize authenticity in their college processes. Be true to who you are, be confident in who you are, celebrate who you are, and offer all of that to colleges by way of the application and essay. Even more than ever, applying to a balanced list of schools is important; work closely with your counselor to do so. Higher education is a privilege, not a right; where you go does not define you, but what you do with that privilege does.

Going home: International students are clear to travel By JASON ZHOU ’23 STAFF WRITER

As spring term is coming to an end, international students have to face the challenge of traveling back home under the pandemic conditions. Intercontinental travel has become a dilemma for students due to various COVID-19 regulations and travel restrictions. To return to campus this spring, reporter Jason Zhou ‘23 had to fly through Singapore with a month of time in quarantine in order to reach the Hill campus from China. Fortunately, Hill international students don’t have to suffer from long transfers and third-country quarantine anymore. On April 26, the U.S. secretary of state lifted the strict travelling rules and stated that “travelers subject to these proclamations, due to their presence in China, Iran, Brazil, South Africa, the Schengen area, the United Kingdom, and Ireland, who are seeking to provide vital support for critical infrastructure; journalists; students and certain academics covered by exchange visitor programs, may now qualify for a National Interest Exception (NIE). Students and academics subject to these proclamations due to their presence in China, Iran, Brazil, or South Africa may qualify for an NIE only if their academic program begins August 1, 2021 or later. ” This means that students with a valid F-1 or M-1 visa are now cleared to enter the United States. Jordan Samuels ’22 has been remote for almost the whole school year in South Africa. It was the thirteenth day of his quarantine in Novi Sad, Serbia, when he learned the news about the travel ban lift. “I feel really relieved and happy about that because it makes visiting my family in the future a lot easier than I initially predicted,” Samuels said. Samuels missed the chance to return to campus in the fall when there were no travel restrictions, and when the travel restrictions were finally lifted, he was already in quarantine in a third country. When asked about the unlucky timing, Samuels said he was not upset. “Honestly, I don’t feel bad coming to Serbia at all. I’ve absolutely loved my stay, and Novi Sad has become one of my favorite cities,” he shared. Ric Guan ’23, a Canadian-Chinese international student, felt relieved after he heard about the travel ban lift. “This means I can spend more time with my family and friends back home during the summer,” Guan expressed, “and it saves me from a lot of troubles in travelling.” Summer Jin ’23 emphasized that the travel ban lift makes everything easier, as “international students won’t need to be remote anymore, and they can go to in-person classes and enjoy the time on campus.” Travel restrictions meant that parents and students had to book multiple flights to avoid flight cancellation, explained Helen Qiu, international student and family support manager at Hill. “They have to be flexible with all the fluid travel requirements, which poses additional challenges to families,” she added. Hearing the news about the travel ban lift, Qiu said that it was truly a step closer to home. “It’s like playing a game, and there are many levels to pass. We are almost there to make it to the end of the game,” Qiu concluded.

Airports have had to deal with travel precautions for over a year. PHOTO BY ERICK SUN ’24


The Hill News | C4

May 24, 2021

Letters from the Co-Editors-in-Chief

Elizabeth Liang Hudak ’21

Tess McArdle ’21


Stuck. Stuck at home, stuck at school. Stuck. Stuck between gratitude and grief, normalcy and insanity, between high school and university. This suffocating immobility has been the defining sentiment of my 6th form year, of our 6th form year. It has been easy to feel helpless. It’s easy to feel helpless amid the squall of political turmoil, shootings, hate crimes and plagues. But, admittedly, it’s also easy to feel helpless against the everyday flurry of exams, 6th form traditions or lack thereof, against college decisions, difficult DEI discussions and the quickly-dissipating hourglass that is our time left in high school. I often consider what there is to do about any of it. My mind spins, weighing validity and anguish like some sort of equation. And I have no notion of a solution. What could we possibly do against the weight of the world? What has provided me solace, though, is writing. Over the past year I’ve written furiously-scribbled subpar essays on activism, collaborated with friends on a story about @BlackatHill, and pored over essays and speeches in an attempt to digest my own identity in front of the school and to faceless college representatives. This year has been a turning point in a decade-long journey that is the evolution of my writing, a catalyst in a phonetic reaction, miraculously transforming the process from a chore into a relief. Words became an act of resistance, an outlet when, in all other ways, I felt stuck. But if writing became an outlet, The Hill News became a solace. The exhausting equation becomes clear when I’m writing, but it becomes even clearer when I’m editing. Designing layout, anxiously sending out an absurd amount of emails, meeting countlessly with Tess and Ms. DeOrnellas, bantering in afternoon activity, all provided a beautiful distraction from the hellscape unfolding below the proverbial Hill. However, beyond the late nights and to-do lists lay something more profound. When personal connection was quite literally limited, I found humanity flourishing between the pages of the paper. The Hill News became a home for passion, anger, frustration, and joy for others who may have felt the same helplessness

Elizabeth Hudak and Tess McArdle have served as editors-in-chief for the 2020-21 school year. PHOTO BY ERICK SUN ’24

as me. This precious role is one I have tried my very best to cultivate. Over the past year, we’ve written about sexual harassment on campus, mental health, the mass execution of Asian women, and a volatile election and inaguration. We’ve discussed democracy, debated APs, and reflected on and analyzed polarizing world events in real time from across the globe. This has been the crux of the meaningfulness I found in the Writing Center. The Hill News and the people that comprise it have been, in many ways, an inspiration to me, a light at the end of a tunnel. As I ready myself to sign off in a short few lines from now and conclude an essay four years in the making, I truly hope it has served as the same for you. Because when we use our voices and amplify others,’ we don’t have to be stagnant. We will no longer be stuck.


For all Hill students their first moments on campus are some of their most memorable. I first arrived at Hill on Sept. 3, 2017: 1,361 days ago (if you’re reading this on the day of its release). And what I remember more than dragging all of my new blazers and skirts up to the third floor of my Dell Village dorm, or getting lost on my way to the Dining Hall, is how I felt so young. I looked around at older students and even my own classmates and felt as though I was so much more naive than everyone around. I admired the 6th form and thought about how my feelings of smallness would slowly disappear as the days ticked by and I became older. I thought that the confidence and ma-

Favorite articles/projects of the year:

turity that the older students displayed was simply because they were older. When I arrived for preseason three days before my 15th birthday, I was sure that my 4th form year would be marked with feelings of maturity and experience. I was quickly met with the same overwhelming emotion of being younger and less mature than those around me. Despite the year that passed, my 15th birthday was not the life-changing event I hoped it to be. The first time I remember losing this overwhelming feeling of being young was when I became a prefect my 5th form year. As I stood talking to a group of new third formers telling them about when I was in their same shoes, I suddenly realized that to them I was one of the old and mature students that I saw when I first stepped onto campus. It was then when I realized that although I was two years older than the version of myself that first came to Hill, what really made me appear older and more mature was all the experiences throughout those two years. The new friends I made, the tests I failed, the articles I wrote, the races I ran, and all of the other highs and lows that shaped me into the person I am today. While I have spent many days on Hill’s campus the days that have gone by since my first September are just that, days. They are not what has changed me and shaped me into who I am today. What grows us and what challenges us as people is not the number of days or the period of time over our four years of high school, but the experiences within those four years. The simple act of going through the days at Hill is not what causes us to grow up. The clock will tick by faster than you notice and before you know it you will find yourself experiencing all the things that help you to build your confidence. Soon you’ll find yourself trying new things, like playing a new sport or running for honor council. Maybe you’ll even start writing for The Hill News and apply to be Editor-in-Chief. So forget about the clock and the days, and remember that your time at Hill is about much more than the years you spend on campus, but the moments and experiences within those years.

Top 3 favorite articles of the year:

- Liminal Spaces: hidden places on campus (Carrie Shang, Sarah Jiang, Nolan Richards, Yoseph Kim, Jasmine Wang) - Long Journey Back: Hill Chinese students are returning to campus through various restrictions (Jason Zhou)

- Spring sports preview (Rose Flaherty) - Student artists take a stand over H-Term (Wesley Connelly) - Satire: Top 3 Valentine’s Day activities (Melody Chen)

Favorite memory:

Favorite memory:

When the food arrived on election night :) Or the long nights in the WC finalizing layout. Stressful but fun.

Bob Ross painting day!

Letters to the form deans By LAUREN YINGLING ’21 My first impression of our form deans dates back to my first year at Hill as a 4th former, our form retreat to Funplex. Put under last-minute time constraints, they were able to rally the troops as our grade made the most of a rainy day in the middle of New Jersey. My mind then moves to Ms. Snyder leading a small group of girls in Tuesday night Eudemonia, which I looked forward to each week since she allowed us a venting session followed by a meditation session. I think of morning Latin classes with Mr. Turner where Lal, Cynthia, Zoya and I all ate pancakes and translated stories about Priscilla and inexpensive porridge together as Dotty ran around the dining room table. The list continues: girls supporting girls events, gradewide Zooms from our homes, white water rafting -- all these moments that brought us closer together as a form. Lastly my mind reflects on this past year, and my heart fills gratitude as I think about both their efforts to keep us connected despite all limitations and all that is still to come in our final days at Hill. The efforts of Mr. Turner and Ms. Snyder have clearly brought our grade closer in ways we wouldn’t have been able to do on our own. But their love for us as students expands past


Ed Turner and Larissa Snyder have seved as the Class of 2021’s form deans since 2017. ILLUSTRATION BY TINA WANG ’22

just being form deans. To us they are also our teachers, coaches, advisors, dorm parents, and advocates. “Having Mr. Turner for three years as a teacher is something that was a core part of my time here. Thank you for always not only being a fantastic teacher, but a friend that looked out for me. I appreciate the efforts you put into me, and all of your students,

because I promise it doesn’t go unnoticed,” Zoya Holin ’21 said. “Ms. Snyder has been an amazing advisor, and has managed to keep our group tight-knit this year. She is always there to lend support, or a laugh, or a birthday treat, and I would not have made it through without her,” Greta Haverstick ’21 shared. Our form deans, while they have done

so much for us, should also be recognized for their accomplishments. Ms. Snyder took on the role as head dorm parent for Upper School West and Mr. Turner became head baseball coach. Both have assumed their roles with excitement and fulfilled their duties in a way that reflects their overall dedication and kindness to students. “Ms. Snyder, thank you for everything that you have done for our form and me this year. All that you have done for Upper School West and the 6th form this year has not gone unnoticed, and I really appreciate it,” said Ethan Kruezburg ’21. All in all, our form has been blessed with Ms. Snyder and Mr. Turner having our backs these past four years. It’s a challenge trying to encapsulate all the different ways they’ve influenced each of us individually. Overall, we unanimously agree as a form that we are thankful for you both, and our four years at Hill wouldn’t have been the same without you. Thank you once again, The Class of 2021

Campus News

The Hill News | A2

May 24, 2021

Editors-in-Chief Elizabeth Liang Hudak ’21, Tess McArdle ’21

Campus News Local News Features Layout Social Media

Nari Tung ’21, Philippe Jin ’21 Olivia Mofus ’22 Tiffany Wang ’22 Portia Sockel ’22

Opinion Arts & Leisure Sports Photo & Illustration Multimedia

Raina Shah ’21 Mofe Akinyanmi ’21 Tess Gray ’21 Claire Hartemink ’21 Efi Miller ’21

Staff Writers & Michael Soland ’21, Edward Deng ’21, Avery Liggon ’21, Izzy Staff Contributers Feldman ’21, Lauren Yingling ’21, Aleksandr Glamazdin ’22, Olivia Kalu ’22, Sarah Jiang ’22, Tina Wang ’22, Emma Gray ’22, Rose Flaherty ’22, Mandy McCarrick ’22, Chloe Han ’22, Anna Carroll ’23, Harliv Singh ’23, Carrie Shang ’23, Moniyah Person-Henderson ’23, Jasmine Wang ’23, Jazon Zhou ’23, Angela Jin ’24, Erick Sun ’24, Diemmy Dang ’24 Faculty Advisor

Ms. Elizabeth DeOrnellas

Content Policy Want to contribute to The Hill News? The Hill News is the student-run news- Come to our weekly meetings TBA or conpaper of The Hill School. Content is de- tact a member of our staff. To submit a letter termined by and reflects the views of the to the editors or an opinion piece, email student editorial board and staff and not ehudak21@thehill.org, school officials or the School itself. The tmcardle21@thehill.org, Hill News acts as an open forum for stuomofus22@thehill.org, dent expression. aglamazdin22@thehill.org.


How to promote political discourse at Hill By MICHAEL SOLAND ’21 & EDWARD DENG ’21 STAFF WRITERS



thehill.news /whatsoeverthingsarenews

A letter to her, my third form self: and hesitated less while being at school. I should have gotten involved in certain initiatives sooner – throughout my time here, I didn’t have enough leadership positions or A markings. I made varsity track but stopped running. I didn’t do all the shows that I could have. I was only a prefect for one year when I could have been one for two. I never ran for SGA, and I didn’t give a chapel talk. The first thing anyone will tell you when you arrive at Hill is to make the most of the time you have, and sometimes I think that I didn’t do that. I can be loud and outgoing in certain social settings, but in others quiet and reserved. If there’s one thing I’m not, it’s the perfect Hill student that we’ve all played a part in furthering the narrative of existing –– and if there’s one thing my Hill experience hasn’t been, it’s perfect either. The questions I’ve been wrestling with in my final weeks are: Can anyone be the perfect Hill student? Has anyone had the perfect Hill experience? Has anyone actually ever made the most of their time here, or is that just some parting but ultimately unattainable wisdom we give out to each other? I think the reality of Hill, at least from experience, is that you can’t really make the most of every day here. It’s a


It’s hard to picture her. It feels like years since she walked the halls as a shy day student from close by. When I see pictures of her, I struggle to recognize that girl. I remember some things about her though –– certain details, some of them trivial, like how she did her hair in the morning and her gray Converse that she put on when the school day ended. I remember other things, probably more important, like her desire to belong at a school that was much bigger than the one she came from. And I remember that she didn’t feel like she belonged for quite a while - until the winter of her sophomore year when she went back to the activity that gave her the most sense of purpose. I sometimes fear that part of her would have hoped that this version of me, a now 6th form boarder, slightly more extroverted, but still from close by, would have been more accomplished; that she, I, would have perhaps come away from Hill with grander takeaways. The truth is, though, or I should say mine is, that even as the hills on campus got smaller and the faces of the people more familiar, I often felt just as lost as she had been. In the back of my mind is a thought that she wouldn’t be proud of who I became, that I should have done more

great intention to have, but you and I have had and will inevitably have days where we don’t want to make the most of it. There will likely be moments on this campus where you feel isolated, even when in the dorms or at seated meals (I know we haven’t had many of those), where you’re surrounded by a ton of people. Alternatively, you will likely have moments here that will make the bad ones feel like a small chip away at an experience that is otherwise whole and good, surrounded by the people who you have come to love and who have come to love you. And I think that reality is a lot more meaningful than the one my 3rd form self would have wanted for 6th form me and for 6th form you. As it is now time for me to share my parting wisdom with you, I will not tell you to make the most of the time you have left here, whether that be three years or three weeks. Instead, I urge you to embrace everything that comes your way, with openish arms, to fight for the Hill that you love on your best days, and to remember that version of it on your worst. If you take me up on it, I promise you will come as close to making the most of your time here as you can. With gratitude and the best of luck, Izzy Feldman

Politics is ubiquitous in our lives. Everything is political. From something obvious, like who our president is, to something seemingly completely unrelated, like what’s for dinner in the Dining Hall. Everything can find its way back to politics. However, despite the important nature of this subject, many Hill students still remain ignorant about current events, taxes/finance, or even the basic functions of the government. Don’t get us wrong, the school tries to encourage political discourse. The school fosters clubs like the Young Republicans Club, Young Democrats Club, and the Young Democratic Socialists Club. And yes, the school offers courses such as Economics AP and AP Gov, where teachers teach students about policy and the like. However, many of these examples have fatal flaws. You can’t teach WHAT to think

Dean of Students, Instructor of Economics Ari Baum

Faculty Responses

School would ever want to ‘foster of our student leaders at Hill step up politically savvy students.’ As Dean to the challenge of AP Government of Students and as an economics each year.” teacher and as a citizen of the United States, I believe all Schools “I do not agree that ‘everything McNally Chair of should prioritize ‘morally savvy is political.’ Perhaps it is intended students’ by ensuring they are all ex- History Daniel to be ‘anything can be politicized’ posed to numerous ideas within the McMains and I certainly agree with that. The political and economic spectrums, juxtaposition between these phrases BUT ALSO distinguishing between is at the root of the challenges out- what is on the spectrum and what “Vibrant political discourse is a vital component to a successful lined in your piece. Because the two exists outside of it.” democracy. To that end it is a stated concepts have tragically become objective of the History department synonymous in the United States of 2021-22 A.P. U.S. to encourage students in the field America. There is plenty that is not at all political and should never ever Government Instructor of historical inquiry. U.S. History is a graduation requirement of the Nicholas Malinak be politicized. school and because of that, the History department takes very seThe economics courses do not aim “A.P. U.S. Government is all about to teach students ‘WHAT to think teaching students how to think about, riously the need to educate our stuabout policy’ but rather aim to discuss, debate, and participate in a dents on the perils and protections cover the implications of different democratic society. The diversity of facing our American democracy. policy approaches – economically, backgrounds and opinions encour- A key component of that History socially, morally. But it is important ages our 6th form students to look at curriculum is helping students to see the complexity and diversity of to note that there are boundaries the world from multiple perspectives. the American experiment. We aim to appropriate discourse of those If a person can appreciate and empa- to foster within students a deep policy options. Hence the aforementioned notion of ‘anything can thize with other points of view, it lets understanding of HOW to think be politicized’ in a time when there them shape their own opinions. It about history and to give them an are people who are lying and calling is this independence of thought that abiding appreciation for the role have to play in American it ‘political speech’. is the core to real leadership, and we they democracy, regardless of national are lucky enough to have a number origin or political affiliation.” I do not agree with the idea that the


Newly enrolled students in 2017 are displayed on the first floor of the Academic Building PHOTO BY CLAIRE HARTEMINK ’21

about policy, you have to teach them HOW. That is the only way to foster genuine politically savvy students. Despite how nice it is to have political clubs, they are like echo chambers where it is impossible to have your political opinion challenged and grow. Just this school year, 6th formers got to go and vote in both national and local elections. Yet if you were to ask the average student about their view regarding the U.S. government’s actions in the Middle East, you would be hard-pressed to find a nuanced discussion regarding the world’s strongest superpower’s geopolitical goals in handling a strategically important and highly volatile region. A large problem the political climate at Hill faces is misinformation through social media. Go on Instagram or Tik Tok, and you’ll find thousands of posts shared by students

either stating blatant misinformation or just a variety of statistics formatted to garner a reaction. These statistics have zero nuance behind them, and the majority of these posts don’t offer in-depth solutions to the problems they bring up, leaving short statements for their viewers to parrot. Hill also faces a problem that, in an age of hyper-partisanship, there is a stigma around discussing politics. People are worried about offending others. Unfortunately, unlike many other subjects, you can’t teach people what to think about politics, which defeats the whole purpose. And the difficult task of teaching students how to think about politics is not going to go away by itself. Only by further encouraging discussion in class and increased salience can we help students to reach out and develop their own well-founded opinions about important issues. This is no exaggeration; our future depends on it.

Why I chose Hill

I cannot believe that our time has already come to an end. It feels like just yesterday, I was stepping on campus for the first time as a scared little 14-yearold. You, Hill, have given me some of the best times of my life, and, through both the good and bad, I have been able to cultivate the ultimate “Why Hill” statement. When I chose Hill as an eighth-grader, there were three main reasons. I completely despised the school I was supposed to attend; I wanted a more challenging academic environment, and I wanted to broaden my view of the world by meeting

new people. Don’t get me wrong -- these are three very good reasons to attend Hill, but there is so much more than just those reasons that make this school the institution it is. When considering my “Why Hill” now, as a 6th former, I do not dwell on the tangible things I achieved from my time at The Hill School, but rather on the growth I’ve achieved and the time I’ve spent with this wonderful community. I choose Hill now because it is a place that cultivates an environment of growth within itself and within its students. Hill has grown as a school immensely from when I set foot on campus for the first time in 2018.

I choose Hill now because the lessons that you learn in and outside of the classroom are lessons that are unique to our community of 800 and are ones that you cannot get elsewhere. And lastly, I choose Hill now because, as much as I sometimes try to fight it, for these past years, this has been my home, one in which I have laughed, cried, and learned, and one that I will never forget. So if you were to ask me “Why Hill” today, I would tell you that Hill and its experiences have made me who I am today, and for that, I am forever grateful.

The Hill News | D6

College Map

May 24, 2021

Iconic CLass, i Designed by: Claire Hartemink ‘21 and Elizabeth Hudak ‘21

California U.C. Berkeley U.C. Los Angeles U.C. San Diego Pepperdine University Pomona College University of Southern California

Illinois University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Indiana Connecticut Kentucky Massachuse Louisiana Florida Purdue University

Connecticut College Sacred Heart University Trinity College Wesleyan University Yale University

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-DB University of Miami University of Tampa

Georgia Emory University Georgia Institute of Technology

Bellarmine University Eastern Kentucky University

Louisiana State University Tulane University

Maryland Johns Hopkins University Mount St. Mary’s University United States Naval Academy

Amherst College Assumption College Babson College Bentley University Boston College Boston University Emerson College Harvard University Massachusetts Institute of Tech Northeastern University Suffolk University Tufts University

May 24, 2021

College Map

D7 | The Hill News

iconic Places Ilustrators: Henry Chen ‘21, Chloe Han ‘22, Sarah Jiang ‘22, Portia Sockel ‘22, Tina Wang ‘22, Aidan Ma ‘23, Jasmine Wang ‘23, Angela Jin ‘23


Missouri new York


Washington University in St. Louis

Barnard College Colgate University Columbia University Cornell University Fordham University Hobart and William Smith Colleges New York University Rochester Institute of Technology University of Rochester Union College


hnology y

Carnegie Mellon University Dickinson College Drexel University Franklin and Marshall College Gettysburg College Lafayette College Lehigh University Muhlenberg College Pennsylvania College of Technology Pennsylvania State University University of Pennsylvania University of Pittsburgh Saint Joseph’s University Temple University Ursinus College Villanova University Washington and Jefferson College

N. Carolina Davidson College Duke University University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Ohio Denison University Ohio Wesleyan University

S. Carolina

Rice University Southern Methodist University University of Texas, Austin Texas Christian University


Coastal Carolina University Furman University

Longwood University University of Richmond


Washington, D.C

Rhodes College University of Tennessee, Knoxville Vanderbilt University

American University George Washington University

Hill says farewell to departing faculty By MONIYAH PERSON-HENDERSON ’23 STAFF WRITER

As the 2020-21 school year comes to an end, the Hill community says farewell to some beloved faculty. With a total of nine faculty members leaving this year, it’s a bittersweet moment for many of us.

Yassine Benzinane

Yassine Ben­ zinane, the chair of world languages, has been a teacher at Hill for seven years, in addition to coaching tennis. After Hill, he plans to work at Choate Rosemary Hall as the director of Ara­b ic and Middle East­e rn Studies.

Before I came to Mr. Benzinane’s Arabic class, when I took a language class, I felt intimidated. I would be nervous about messing up or saying the wrong thing in front of other people. Mr. Benzinane creates a calm and accepting environment with his jovial and welcoming personality. You will never find a language teacher as qualified and as fit at his job as Mr. Benzinane. Mr. Benzinane is a friend and a mentor. —Owen Manganiello ’22

Brett DioGuardi

Brett Diogaurdi, the High Meadows Foundation chair of sustainability, dorm parent, assistant football coach, and environmental science teacher, has been a faculty member at Hill for four years. “I will leave Hill this summer to move back to my college town (Davidson, N.C.) to become the head of sustainability and supply chain for Summit Coffee,” he stated in an email.

I first met Mr. Dio when I managed football, and he welcomed Bella and I with open arms. Then he became the teacher I could trust to go to with every problem and dilemma. —Kaitlyn Rosario ‘21

Erin Ruane

Erin Ruane, a science instructor, Rolfe dorm parent, and coach of girls cross country, has been working at Hill for 7 years. She was the first woman and woman of color to serve as the Science Department Chair. After Hill she plans to teach chemistry at St. Paul’s School in Concord, N.H.

Andy Bessette

An instructor of mathematics, hockey coach, and dorm parent, Andy Bessette has been working at Hill since 2012, alongside his wife Kelsey Bes­s ette. Their family plans to relocate to Pebble Beach, Calif., where Mr. Bessette will be teaching at Stevenson School.

Mr. Bessette helped me return to the sport I loved as a young kid- hockey. This is something I’ll be forever grateful for. He was a tremendous coach and by far one of the coolest faculty members on campus. —William Thompson ’21

Chanel Erasumus A donor relations officer, Chanel Erasmus has been work­ing at Hill for four years in the Office of Institutional Giv­ing and served as the Director of the Hill Squash Teams and a dorm parent in Foster. After Hill, Erasmus plans to move to the Netherlands.

Coach Erasmus has been the most amazing coach, mentor, and friend to all players and students here at Hill. Above all, she was a positive voice in the team’s lives and she put genuine purpose into every point. I know that wherever she ends up coaching next, those players will be able to achieve success unbeknownst to them and walk off the court a better person and player. —Portia Sockel ’22

Rebecca Shipper ’14

Rebecca Shipper, alumni, math instructor, head softball coach, and dorm parent at Upper School East 3, has been a faculty member at Hill for two years. “This fall I am enrolling at the University of Delaware to begin a PhD in Applied Math with a focus on cardiovascular and health systems modeling,” she stated in an email.

Kelsey Bessette

Kelsey Bessette, a his­ tory teacher and dorm parent in Dell, Mrs. Bes­ sette has been a faculty member at Hill for seven years. “I coached JV field hockey, track and field, and intramural volley­ ball!” she said. While Mr. Bessette teaches at Ste­ venson, “I’ll be staying home and exploring with Grace, Olivia, and Lilly!” stated Kelsey Bessette.

I had the privilege of having Mrs. Bessette as my third-form dorm parent, coach, and teacher. I’m so grateful to have had her in my life during such a formative time in both my Hill career and my adolescence. She is one of the most passionate and caring people I’ve ever met. —Naomi Ude ’21

Sophia Gantenbein Sophia Gantenbein, a French instructor, has been a faculty member at Hill for three years. Out of the classroom Gantenbein coached crew, merging her two high school passions. After Hill, she plans to attain a graduate degree in Speech-Language Pathology, taking her love for language and communication to a scientific level.

I’ll always remember the times we spent together as an advisory, and Hill won’t be the same without her, but I’m excited for her to be able to move along and continue her journey with the languages, and I hope that she can bring the happiness and care that she brought to our advisory to her future pursuits. —Aidan Ma ’23

Nate Yinger ’05

Nate Yinger, alumni and sport information director, has been working at Hill for 14 years, first as a summer job with Building and Grounds. He became a full-time employee in 2011. Next year he plans to be the Communications and Advancement Manager at St. Bani School in Sanbornton, N.H. “Hill is all I’ve ever known, and, while the school will always hold a special place in my heart, it’s time for me to experience something different,” Yinger stated.

Ms. Ruane has been a great advisor these past three years and has helped everyone in every way possible. She has always been willing to do whatever we need and picks us up when we need it the most.

Coach Shipper made not only me better but everyone on the team better. She did whatever she needed to in order to improve our team. Even when our team was struggling, Coach Shipper was able to help us fix the problems and lift us up.

Mr. Yinger, you have impacted my life dramatically. Without you, I wouldn’t have found my love for javelin and been able to pursue it in college. You not only were my coach, but also a great mentor to me. You’ve pushed me to keep positive through all of the obstacles in my life and have inspired me to be the best that I can be. You’re the most down-to-earth person that I know. Thank you for all the time and effort you’ve invested into me.

—Ben Greenberg ’22

—Kelly Dempsey ’23

—Andrew D’Asaro ’21 PHOTOS by SARAH JIANG ’22, JASMINE WANG ’23


May 24. 2021

E9 | The Hill News

Sixth formers reflect on a politically turbulent senior year By MOFE AKINYANMI ’21 ARTS & LEISURE EDITOR

Following a turbulent year, the end of the Class of 2021’s time at the Hill School quickly approaches. The Hill School took an active approach after the events sparked by the death of George Floyd in the summer, turning the former Inclusion Council into the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council. Students and faculty read the book “Racial Profiling: Everyday Inequality” by Alison Marie Behnke and formally started a dialogue concerning racism in the United States. Many students found themselves newly aware of racial injustice in their own communities that they hadn’t recognized before. However, to many students of color, these stories and the emotions that followed them were all too familiar. “I’ve noticed a lot of my white peers being surprised or shocked at the experiences that people of color have been communicating as of recently,” Adam Benzinane ’21 said. “I completely understand why this happens, but it can still feel a bit insulting when some of my white peers are in disbelief at the discrimination that people of color face. We’ve been trying to communicate this for the longest time, and it’s nice that you’re listening now, but where were you before?” This sentiment is not unique. Past and current Hill students shared ex-

periences with racism that happened at Hill on the @BlackAtHill Instagram account, making their stories visible to everyone. Many 6th formers found it exhausting to relieve these experiences. Naomi Ude ’21, Co-President of the DEI Council said, “I had always experienced racism in the South, but this summer was a deep dive into trauma. People think posting on BlackatHill is just us bringing up things that we’ve been dealing with for a long time, but for me personally, I had put a lot of that stuff in the back of my mind and to post things like that wasn’t easy. It takes you back to that place, but it needs to be done for future generations and for people to know and acknowledge that this is happening, this has happened, this is our experience as Black students, and that’s draining. To return to a school where some of your most traumatic experiences occurred after a summer so tumultuous is not a small ordeal.” Many 6th formers found themselves feeling trapped with the new restrictions due to the quick and aggressive rise of COVID-19. In a year where one is meant to experience Hill at its best, it was fatally disappointing for some. However, some students still found themselves being grateful for the opportunities offered to 6th formers that many seniors around the country were not given. Jasroop Dhingra ’21 said, “Being a

I’ve noticed a lot of my white peers being surprised or shocked at the experiences that people of color have been communicating as of recently. I completely understand why this happens, but it can still feel a bit insulting when some of my white peers are in disbelief at the discrimination that people of color face. Like, we’ve been trying to communicate this for the longest time, and it’s nice that you’re listening now, but where were you before? —Adam Benzinane ’21


senior during COVID has been disheartening at times since we haven’t been able to experience a traditional year. I do think that the school has done a great job of trying to provide enough opportunities or weekend activities, etc, to help make this an enjoyable year. ” Dhingra looks forward to having an in-person graduation, something that many schools cannot do. Then came the 2020 election, a furious race between Joe Biden and Donald Trump. This pushed tensions in the community. Still, the Class of ’21

‘whatsoever things are true,’” Chirieleison said.

I will always remember this year and take great pride in being a member of a class that stood for change and lived in accordance with “whatsoever things are true.” —Andrew Chirieleison ’21


SAMH draws attention to students’ mental health in 2020

A playlist for you, from us. The Hill News editorial’s favorite songs or tunes that encapsulate our last four years.




As many of us know, this year has been a challenge for mental health, especially for young people. With increased isolation and unforeseen changes to daily life, many people have struggled to cope. That’s where Students Advocating for Mental Health comes in. SAMH, founded in the summer of 2020 by Cecile Wegman ’23 and John Ju ’23, is exactly what their name states: students advocating for mental health through peer representation and implementing student change. During their first year at Hill, both Wegman and Ju noticed that mental health at Hill needed to be discussed further. In many aspects of student life, they observed a stigma around discussions of mental health. The idea for SAMH was first thought of by Wegman. Reflecting on her own relationship with mental health, she wanted to make something that would address it within students in a better way. “I’ve been very close with people that have suffered from different issues with mental health and mental health is very personal to me, so I reached out to my adviser who helped connect me to Mrs. Roethling and I said, ‘I want to change certain things about how we address mental health at Hill.’ Then, John and I were the beginning of SAMH. Everything just took off.” Afterwards, more and more people became involved, creating the current SAMH that can be seen today. One of the aspects of SAMH that the two prided themselves on most was the group’s committed attitude. In their view, that attitude is what allowed them to achieve the goals SAMH had laid out. “We’re very much doers,” Wegman said. “If someone brings something up to John or I and it’s something feasible, or

persevered. Although Andrew Chirieleison ’21 felt disappointed watching the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill insurrection, he was proud of the way Hill’s student body responded to it, including the other historic events that happened this year. “As a country, we must improve, and it starts with holding each other accountable and taking the necessary steps to move forward and grow inclusively as a nation. I will always remember this year and take great pride in being a member of a class that stood for change and lived in accordance with




1. She Plays Bass (beabadoobee) This is one of the first songs i learned on the bass guitar. As a girl who plays the bass it is quite fitting, but I also like it as an anthem for friendship and a song that uplifts another female friend. I really love the bassline and the simple but joyful lyrics. (Curated by Mofe Akinyanmi ‘21, Arts & Leisure)

2. Catch and Release (Matt Simons) Students attend an SAMH event.

even if it’s something that seems impossible, we speak with the Counseling Office and act on what we can do. SAMH tends to get a lot of things done because of our dedication as a group and because we genuinely want to be able to find the best way to help students.” SAMH has indeed accomplished many things, including sexual assault awareness posters, positive mental health posters in dorms, mental health and eating disorder videos on Instagram, student athlete day including a faculty and student panel discussing burn out, guest speakers Nathan Harmon and Maris Degener, and much more. Ju emphasized the fact that such an influential group was only founded less than a year ago. “This started last summer. I feel like people forget that and say, ‘Oh yeah, SAMH has been here for a few years,’ but we started this last summer on top of COVID-19 and all the stuff going around the world,” Ju said. Ju and Wegman have come to value their key to accomplishing these goals: communication. At the same time, communication is also something the two hope to work on with SAMH in the future, making sure that everyone knows exactly


what their role is. Other things SAMH hopes to see next year are expansion, using collected data to better inform their goals, and further working with other groups such as DEI, HASOGI, and the SGA. “We realized that we can’t do this just as one group of 15 students,” Wegman said. Director of Counseling Lisa Roethling is especially proud of all that SAMH has accomplished this year. “Their voice is incredibly helpful in bringing the student voice not just to wellbeing services on campus, but also to administration to enact change,” Roethling stated in an email. “They have accomplished so much in one year, and we are so excited to see the interest of students for next year. On behalf of the Counseling Program, we look forward to another impactful year.” Everything, Ju said, goes back to their slogan: “Your Mental Health Matters.” “As students we are the main focus of the school, and we have the ability and the privilege to really work towards bettering our community,” Ju said.

This is one of my favorite because It has stuck with my through all four years at Hill. It reminds me of my first few months on campus and all the memories I have made since then. (Curated by Tess McArdle ‘21, Co-Editor-inChief)

3. Black Sheep (Metric) This song has fantastic instrumentals, as a person who doesn’t focus on lyrics a lot I really value interesting melody’s. The instruments in Black Sheep constantly change creating different moods in the song that not only stimulates the brain but also gives an endorphin rush making it one of my favorites. (Curated by Efi Miller ‘21, Multimedia

4. Stupid Deep (Jon Bellion) This is one of my favorite songs because it reminds to live in the moment and that life is truly all about perspective. Appreciate what you have now, now what you don’t. Don’t be sad it’s over, be happy it happened. Do all this so that we won’t have a holes in our hearts that are stupid deep. (Curated by Philippe Jin ‘21, Local News)

5. lessons (mxmtoon) Mxmtoon’s lyrics are the most accurate verbal representation of my feelings throughout high school. This song deliberates on the importance of taking every day in stride, living well, and avoiding regret while learning to accept your growth and make mistakes. (Curated by Elizabeth Liang Hudak, Co-Editor-in-Chief)

Arts & Leisure

The Hill News | F10

May 24 2021

Sixth formers grow artistically throughout their Hill careers By ANNA YAO CARROLL ’23

A s m e m bers of the Class of 2021 begin to leave campus, their memory lives on within the Hill community through tight-knit relationships, unforgettable impacts, and inspiring stories. Specifically, some members of the Class of 2021 will be remembered through their significant contributions to the visual and performing arts. Nolan Richards ’21 first discovered his interest in photography during a family hike, when he started to take photos with his mom’s camera, in the summer of 2017. “I realized my mom was also teaching the photography class next year so I realized I could sign up for it, and that is when it really took off.” He continued with the photography class over the next three years at Hill, fostering both his passion and ability to photograph. Richards went on to explain how upperformers taking the class helped motivate him, as an underformer, to pursue photography. “Jordan Corpuz was really good at photography. It was really cool to just see him work and his work was amazing. I wanted to be STAFF WRITER

“Green Roof ” by Nolan Richards ’21

“Ocean Beach II” by Nolan Richards ’21

that,” Richards explained. Throughout the past summer and H-term, Richard’s has been working on photographing abandoned structures - one of his most recent works. He has also submitted other pieces and portfolios in various contests and competitions, having his work “Ocean Beach II” selected for the 2020 Drexel Photography High School Contest Exhibition. He plans to continue to pursue his passion by majoring in photography while attending Drexel University this fall. Raina Shah ’21, The Hill News Opinion Editor, recently rediscovered her interest in art and, in the process, brought awareness to causes important to her. During her 3rd form year at Hill, Shah took art courses for all three terms. However, due to her

“The Sunset City” by Nolan Richards ’21

Artworks by Raina Shah ’21

schedule, she was unable to take an art class in both her 4th and 5th form year. Now, in her 6th form year, Shah is taking Studio Art 3 Honors with Hill Art Department Chair Ellen Nelson, after submitting a portfolio to place in a higher class. “One thing I really liked this year was that we did a lot of culture and society pieces, making statements on the crazy year that we’ve had,” Shah said. Throughout this past year, Shah has created pieces that focus on COVID-19’s impact on student mental health, immigration, and women’s rights in India. Currently, she is working on a final piece that is a culmination of many social justice issues. “Art was something that I missed and something that I knew I wanted to get back into senior

year. I think it’s really nice that I’ve been able to find art again. I am really grateful that Hill has such a great art program and art studios, and I think it’s cool that Hill advocates for the arts as well,” Shah said. She hopes to find time to continue fostering her love of art while attending Tufts University in the fall. The Class of 2021 is also heavily represented in Hill’s Theatre Department. Kendal Thomas ’21 is one member of the graduating class who has been an active member in various performance groups during her time at Hill, participating in theatre performances, Hill’s Dance Class, and being the co-leader of the 28:24 student band. She first discovered her love of performing in the eighth grade while partaking in a required musical event at her previous school. After enjoying that experience, she decided to participate in the event her following year. Thomas then transferred to The Hill School in her 4th form year. “When I came to Hill, I took the Musical Theatre course as a class. After that, I realized I really wasn’t enjoying myself on the sports teams. I felt more at home in the CFTA and exploring the more artistic side of myself,” Thomas said. This encouraged her, in her 5th form year, to try out for “Chicago” in the fall of 2020, as well as the winter musical “Hairspray” and the Zoom production of “Jury Trial.” Thomas’s advisor, Chris McGriff, the director of the CFTA and instructor of theatre, also played a role in the development of her artistic career. “I really credit him in encouraging me in that aspect. There are so many resources here that are simply not available in other places and because of that, it just

makes the Arts so much more accessible,” Thomas said. She also participates in the Hill Dance Ensemble with Laura Cobbs, the adjunct dance instructor, and is a member of the 28:24 student band, being the group’s co-leader, along with Shannon Quintana ’21. “Performing in front of a live audience in a band is probably my favorite thing to do ever. You get such an authentic and real connection with members in the audience,” Thomas said. In the future, she plans to become involved in artistic extracurriculars at her college, potentially participating in another cover band or even writing music, as well as looking for opportunities to continue to explore her passion for theatre and acting. “If it weren’t for Hill, I would not nearly be as involved as I am, and, if it weren’t for the student band, the dance classes, and the musicals, I certainly would be missing something that I hold so dear to me now. So I really do credit the school for that and my experience here,” Thomas said.

Kendal Thomas ‘21 has participated in dance at Hill. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE HILL SCHOOL

Comic Corner



May 24. 2021

Hill works to become more equitable for all student-athletes By MANDY MCCARRICK ’22 STAFF WRITER

Imagine it is the last game of the 2018 Lawrenceville weekend. Dating back to 1887, The Hill School and Lawrenceville have met to play against each other for one weekend in every fall sport. Now, a huge mass of people — half wearing Hill blue, the other half wearing Lawrenceville red — head over to the final game to see if their school will win the rivalry. The team that had the honor of playing in the very last event of the weekend that year might surprise you. “Instead of football being the last game of the Lawrenceville day, football ended and the whole school came up under the lights for that MAPL field hockey championship game and were able to kind of rally around one of our female teams for the final game,” Seth Eilberg, director of athletics and co-curricular activities at Hill, said. This year’s NCAA March Madness showed that not every tournament has successfully navigated how to equitably treat female athletes. “The men’s teams are given an abundance of amenities while the women have been given the bare minimum,” Insider NU writer Lia Assimakopoulos stated in an article published on March 19.

The differences between how male and female athletes are treated at the collegiate level raise the question if male and female athletes are treated equally at The Hill School. Marcela Gaitan, associate director of athletics at Hill, said every athlete would have a unique experience depending on the sport they play. “I think every sports opportunity, whether it is boys or girls or field hockey or ice hockey or fencing or crew, it’s very unique and hard to compare,” Gaitan said. Although many Hill student-athletes agree they have been given the same resources to succeed, some feel as though they are not supported enough in the community. “I feel like by the faculty I am supported as much as male athletes in the community, but I feel like in terms of students I’m not,” Hannah Gordon ’21, who is on the girls varsity ice hockey and softball teams, said. Some male athletes have also noticed the inequalities between girls and boys sports within the Hill community. “The success of teams is not valued enough,” Will Dollhopf ’21, who runs track, stated in a text. This is not just a Hill School

problem; it is a societal problem. “The Hill School is a microcosm of society in many ways, as it relates to sports too. We see there are inequities among females in sports and males in sports,” Gaitan said. The Hill School athletics department showed their dedication to fixing this issue by starting a task force on “gender excellence” three years ago for the student-athletes. “We would really dive into it, whether it was recruiting or resources or equipment or if it was time of the game, we would go into it and try to understand if it was inequity or just what was happening,” Gatian said. “First we had a student focus group of girl athletes and boy athletes and we asked them similar questions, so like ‘what does your experience look like’ or ‘where do you feel like there are inequities’ to try and pick apart what could be.” The Hill School has put a lot of thought into intentionally creating sports schedules so fans can support both boys and girls teams. One example was that field hockey game three years ago. “I think we have made great strides,” Eilberg said. “I think any kid playing in that game would feel extremely supported and celebrated knowing they have the whole school out there rooting them on.”

G11 | The Hill News

Unforgettable games & moments By TESS GRAY ’21 SPORTS EDITOR

2019 state quarterfinals against Baldwin. 5th inning we had a two-out rally. The entire bench had their rally caps on (backwards/upside down hats, helmets on backwards) Meg hit a dinger and then I hit a dinger, everyone playing small ball, we were going nuts. I don’t know the score but we won -- haha -it was the best. —Colleen Quinn ’21 Colleen Quinn ‘21 at a 2019 softball game. Photo courtesy of HillSnapshots

My most memorable game at Hill was the first round PAISAA game for girls soccer in 2017. We were at Shipley, and our team had gone a few years without making it to the second round. I played the second half in goal, following a senior goalkeeper when I was only a freshman. We scored, resulting in a 1-0 victory. At the end of the game, we all ran to each other; we were so excited to have broken the streak. —Marah Krick ’21 Marah Krick ‘21 at a 2018 soccer game. Photo courtesy of Hill Snapshots

Last year in our second game of the season we traveled to The Kent School. They’re known for being a really strong program, so needless to say we were feeling a bit nervous but also super excited. As soon as the game officially started it was like we were all electrified. It was back and forth, physical, penalties were called and big chances for both teams. Best of all, we were outplaying them almost the whole game. I’ve never played a more fun game of any sport in my entire life. We ended up tying 4-4, even after an overtime, but it just proved how good we could be and how much we got better from the last time we played them. It literally felt like playing for the Stanley Cup in game 7. it was insane, we played so hard, and i couldn’t be prouder to be a part of that with Hill.

Sixth form athletes part way with Hill athletics By ROSE FLAHERTY ’22 STAFF WRITER

As 6th form athletes reflect on their experiences, they have a wealth of knowledge to leave to the underformers who will soon fill their shoes. Their advice emphasized themes such as branching out of comfort zones and not taking for granted the opportunity to take part in these various programs. Andrew Chirielesion ’21 has played football and lacrosse since he started at Hill his 3rd form year. Within these programs for the past four years, he feels he’s learned the value of communication, grit, hard work, and humility. He said, “You only have so many opportunities to play, and it is especially important you do not waste the fleeting moments you have with your teammates and as a Hill athlete.” Bella Basile ’21 has played varsity field hockey, captain of the varsity cross-country team, varsity girls swimming and diving, and varsity girls track and field. She said each sport had taught her a different lesson, but overall she “gained a greater sense of my athletic and leadership abilities” through having these outlets to express herself. Aidan Dunn ’21 has played

the same three sports beginning his 3rd form year. He was a two-year captain of the boys water polo team,a member on the swim team, and boys varsity lacrosse team. He learned that being a part of a team at Hill means being a part of something bigger than yourself. Dunn said, “The connections and relationships that I form while playing sports is something I will cherish forever.” Kiki Lange ’21 played on the girls’ varsity field hockey team for three years, participated in strength and conditioning this fall, and has been a member of both the indoor and outdoor track teams for four years. She feels she learned some valuable lessons, but most importantly, she said, “Being a good athlete means nothing if you are not a good person. I think those values come from the amazing coaches I have had.” Basile said she wishes she knew “there is nothing holding you back from trying new sports or following an interest to do something different.” She continued, “Don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone. Just because it’s something you’ve never tried before or completely different

from what you’re used to, it doesn’t mean that you won’t like or even love it.” Lange says she would encourage underformers to try new things because “if you never try something new you will never know what other amazing opportunities are out there.” Chirielesion says one thing he regrets is not understanding that anyone can be a leader. He said he believes anyone can lead – they just have to rise to the occasion. “When you are a younger player, it takes time to find your voice in the locker room. The great thing about leaders is that they emerge in all kinds of unexpected ways.” Parting advice from Chirielesion was to “take advantage of the opportunity of wearing the Hill jersey and representing our school to the best of your ability.” He said he now realizes you only have so many opportunities to play, so don’t waste the fleeting moments you have now. “Respect the traditions and values of the sports program you are in. There have been a lot of great athletes and coaches that have come before you who have helped create what Hill athletics is all about today,” Dunn said.

—Julia Weiss ’21 Julia Weiss ‘21 at a 2021 hockey game. Photo courtesy of Hill Snapshots

The first game of the season, junior year, we played rival team Episcopal Academy. We were the underdogs going in because they were ranked No. 4 in the country. We were ready and excited. I have to say, our enthusiasm carried us to that win. We played like a team; it was a collective team win. From to the top of the offensive line to the goalie, we were ready and it showed. Definitely a game I will remember for a while. —Izzy Tabarrini ’21 Izzy Tabarrini ‘21 at a 2018 softball game. Photo courtesy of Hill Snapshots

This year’s national prep championships is my best memory of a competition with The Hill School. This was my last time stepping on the mat to represent Hill and it was a good one. I had tough matches, and a ton of fun even though I fell one match short of placing. We showed up with a “take it” mentality and the results show. —Ethan Kreuzberg ’21 Ethan Kreuzberg ‘21 takes 2021 wrestling power photos. Photo courtesy of Hill Snapshots

My most memorable game at Hill was when I returned to play my previous school (Malvern Prep) in Water Polo my junior year. It meant a lot as many of my former teachers, peers and friends came out to suppovrt. We were able to win the game and show off our Hill pride in the process! —Thomas Simpson ’21

6th form boys lacrosse players ready to play their last games for Hill.

PHOTO BY COURTESY OF THE HILL SCHOOL Simpson plays in a 2019 water polo game. Photo courtesy of Hill Snapshots

Through the Lens

The Hill News | H12

THEN & NOW 2017-2021

May 24, 2021

“Remember back to September 2017. Camp Green Lane. You had arrived at a new school, possibly away from home for the first time, and were then whisked away from the school, to stay at a camp for two days. You were taken far beyond your comfort zones and all that was familiar. At the time, we didn’t know that this would be a trend for your class, enduring major campus construction projects, a global pandemic, and widespread social injustice. Those unsure, insecure third formers emerged as leaders and champions for change and justice. We are so proud of the young adults that you have developed into!” Regards, Class of 2021 Form Dean Ms. Synder

Then-3rd formers Jason Kim, Brandon Kim, Philippe Jin, Ellie Lee, Michael Wong, Nari Tung, Alan Kassymov Amber Cao and Iha Chikkala at the welcome home cookout in 2017. The now-6th formers recreate the photo in 2021 with Kai Ho standing in for Kassymov. Photo by Elizabeth Hudak ‘21

Then-3rd formers Izzy Feldman and William Thompson at 3rd form orientation in 2017. The now-6th formers recreate the photo in 2021. Photo by Elizabeth Hudak ‘21

Then-3rd formers Rohan Dondeti and William Dollhopf at the annual egg hunt in 2017. The now-6th formers recreate the photo in 2021. Photo by Elizabeth Hudak ‘21

Then-3rd formers Brandon Bastion and Billy Gussler at 3rd form orientation in 2017. The now-6th formers recreate the photo in 2021. Photo by Elizabeth Hudak ‘21

Profile for The Hill News

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