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THE HILL SCHOOL 2012-17 Strategic Plan


Dear Hill School Community: It may seem a bit dramatic to say that The Hill School treats strategic planning as if lives depend upon it. But, the truth is, they do. Our planning supports the programs – from the academic program, to college advising, to alumni networking – that empower our graduates to realize their goals throughout their lives. Our deliberate thinking calls for academic facilities where creative teachers have the classroom skills, tools, and technology they need to ensure student success; faculty housing that provides advisers and dorm parents a dynamic and appropriate environment in which to mentor students; and state-of-the-art athletics facilities where Hill student-athletes learn the leadership, teamwork, and perseverance they will rely on to face challenges throughout their lives. The way we plan affects each and every Hill student – from the talented trombonist and future tennis standout from Vietnam, to the Pottstown student who is as passionate about the classics as she is about field hockey and service learning, to the inquisitive science scholar from Texas whose desire to test his academic potential at Hill would not be fulfilled without financial aid. It is thus my pleasure and privilege to share the 2012-17 Strategic Plan – and to show you how our planning will benefit the entire Hill community. This presentation outlines the ambitious goals approved by the Board of Trustees in June 2012. These essential objectives were determined by small, focused committees – faculty and trustees who delved into topics including admission, advancement and alumni relations, athletics, budget and investment, campus planning, campus life, college advising, community relations, education, faculty and staff, and technology. This strategic planning process has equipped The Hill to tackle the audacious, overarching goal I shared with the Board of Trustees at the beginning of my tenure:


“Over the next 10 years, while staying very true to our core values, The Hill will re-imagine and redefine a liberal arts secondary school education. We will combine all of the powerful ideals encompassed by ‘The Family Boarding School’ with the best and most innovative practices of 21st century teaching and learning. People will simultaneously describe The Hill as the most traditional and the most innovative secondary school in the country. In doing so, we will attract the most capable students and most talented teachers from around the world; our students will be the most highly sought after college applicants; and we will generate unprecedented financial support from our alumni, parents, and other donors. The Hill will be a school built out of character.” I am very grateful to my predecessor, David Dougherty, and the dedicated members of The Hill School faculty and Board of Trustees who worked so hard on this impressive and tangible Plan. Their love for The Hill and commitment to our students were demonstrated again and again through their thoughtful and thorough research and open, spirited dialogue. Special acknowledgement is due to Doug O’Dell ’67, who served as the Trustee co-chair; John Dollhopf, faculty co-chair; and Tom Millhiser ’67, P ’96 and ’00, chairman of the Board of Trustees, as well as the Steering Committee and the subcommittees. Guided by this Plan, we look forward to continuing our relevant, immensely inspirational work as educators and mentors, and we pledge to meet the heightened expectations of all members of our Hill family. Together we will achieve great, enduring things for our students, for our School, and, ultimately, for the world. Warm regards,

Zachary G. Lehman Headmaster


The Hill School Mission Statement The Hill School prepares young men and women from across the country and around the world for college, careers, and life. Within a family school environment and a rigorous liberal arts curriculum, we challenge our young people to work hard; think and reason; be fulfilled; serve the common good; and be prepared to lead as citizens of the world, uniquely guided by our motto,

“Whatsoever Things Are True.�


Within our core mission of preparing our students for college, careers, and life as citizens of the world in the 21st century, we commit The Hill School to a thorough review of its priorities, with the goal of being the preeminent family boarding school in the nation, true to its ideals and ambitious for its future.


The Hill will evaluate, address, and enhance six key areas of impact through implementation of this 2012-17 Strategic Plan. students...EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM... Faculty...Campus...Town...Future...


“People will simultaneously describe HILL as the MOST TRADITIONAL and MOST INNOVATIVE secondary school in the country.”

Headmaster Zachary G. Lehman


For our students... We will: address the affordability of a Hill School education with the aim of increasing financial aid to achieve a long-term objective of need-blind admissions. Furthermore, we will attract the best students by providing the programs, facilities, resources, and overall experience they should expect from our close, diverse living and learning community.


For our students... We will: Meet vigorous goals set to ensure an exceptional student body:

• Increase our endowment for financial aid by $50 million by 2017; and

• Further expand our domestic and international geographic diversity.

Engage all students – boarding and day — in a community that promotes the values embodied in our motto of “Whatsoever things are true”: • Develop a residential life curriculum that enhances interactions between students and their teachers, dormitory parents, advisers, and coaches; and • Promote health and wellness in all aspects of campus life.


Hill graduates will demonstrate resilience and flexibility attained through rigorous study, self-reflection, and character-building experiences.


For our students... Encourage our students to pursue excellence in both their academic pursuits and their co-curricular endeavors and passions: • Ensure visibility and recognition of our

students for their achievements – in the classroom, on the playing fields, in the arts, in community service, and in other commitments; and

• Evaluate and redefine our athletics

offerings, specialization opportunities, and requirements.

Ensure that our students thrive in dormitory facilities befitting

The Hill’s high standards: • Annually assess dormitory rooms and common areas and make prioritized improvements.


For our students... Empower our students to take

responsibility for their college search process and make insightful decisions about their life after

The Hill: • Maintain data and metrics that will help inform the process for our students; and • Achieve and maintain ambitious

acceptance rates for top colleges and universities while working one-on-one with students to identify institutions where they will experience the greatest challenge and success.


For our EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM... We will undertake a wise, enlightened examination of our educational program and create a curriculum that uses best current pedagogical practices, thus establishing The Hill as a leader in 21st century education.


For our Educational Program... We will: Graduate confident students who possess: • A comprehensive liberal arts background; • The ability to collaborate, problem-solve, and express themselves creatively; and

• Resilience and flexibility attained through

rigorous study, self-reflection, and characterbuilding experiences.

Conduct a mission-driven restructuring of our educational program: • Reaffirm and strengthen Hill’s emphasis

on the fundamental core curricular skills of critical reading, writing, oral communication, quantitative analysis, information management and research skills, and ethical reflection;

• Review all aspects of our calendar and daily

schedule, including athletics, campus life, and off-campus activities;

• Integrate appropriate technology in all aspects of our educational program;

• Facilitate opportunities for service-learning

in our extended community of Pottstown and beyond; and

• Review graduation requirements.


The Hill School should be a destination place of employment for a diverse group of women and men who are passionate about teaching and inspiring equally motivated young women and men.


For our faculty... We will demonstrate our commitment to recruiting, retaining, and enhancing the professional and personal lives of our faculty and their families. We will: Increase faculty salaries to levels commensurate with peer schools by 2017 and regularly review all benefits programs; Meet the need for first-class faculty housing by: • Completing the renovation all faculty housing units by September 2017, and • Completing eight initial units of the East Campus Village by 2014 and an additional eight units by August 2017.

Implement a comprehensive faculty development program by June 2013; Consider appointing a Director of Human Resources; and Review our daily schedule to allow faculty time for teaching, enrichment, and family.


For our Campus... We will enhance our world-class campus by creating a premier Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Center; adding new classrooms for humanities subjects; expanding our athletics facilities; and infusing our facilities with cutting-edge technology.


We will: Plan for the adaptive re-use of the Widener Buildings to accommodate a STEM Center; Renovate or build new facilities for classics, history, philosophy, and religious studies; Achieve and maintain a 100% wireless campus by August 2013; Enhance our athletics campus by: • Constructing new outdoor

athletics facilities which will include two artificial turf fields and a championship track-andfield facility;

• Rebuilding and enlarging

the varsity soccer field to regulation specifications by August 2014; and

• Pursuing best green building

practices in construction and renovation.


For our town...

We will seek to invest in and partner with Pottstown to pursue mutually beneficial ends in the arts, economic development, neighborhood revitalization, and the environment.


For our town... We will: Place The Hill at the forefront of revitalization of the Pottstown community, particularly in

the neighborhood to the west of our campus, by: • Working with other anchor community

organizations to achieve common goals;

• Encouraging local commerce; • Supporting Pottstown’s cultural initiatives

by sharing Hill talent and facilities as well as

attending downtown events; and • Facilitating community volunteerism and

service learning among our students and faculty.

Consider appointing a Community Relations Director.


For our future... We will undertake a multi-year comprehensive campaign, fundraising with passion and focus to achieve this Plan’s strategic objectives and secure the future of our School. We will: Conduct a campaign feasibility study and

begin implementing those recommendations by September 2014;

Address campaign, The Hill Fund, and Alumni Relations staffing needs; and

Grow The Hill Fund to a sustained level of

$3.8 million and 12% to 15% of the 2017-18 operating budget, with: • 100% Board participation

(30% of The Hill Fund goal),

• 35% alumni participation, • 75% parent participation, and • 100% faculty participation.


The Hill School 2012-17 Strategic Plan will address these broad, bold, shared imperatives:

Faculty Recruitment and Retention The Hill will recruit and retain the most

talented, innovative, and committed educators in America – and, furthermore, The Hill School will be a destination place of employment for a diverse group of women and men who are passionate about teaching and inspiring equally motivated young women and men. Therefore, it is crucial that we: • Develop a clear course of action to begin

increasing faculty salaries in the 2013-14 academic year, making them commensurate with the median of top peer schools by 2017;

• Determine and attain optimal student-facultystaff ratios; and

• Foster a culture of professional development,

collegial interaction, and trust across all levels of the faculty.


Optimal Enrollment Study The Hill will conduct a comprehensive study to determine the optimal enrollment for our School, beginning with the 2014-15 year and for the years to follow. Metrics to be reviewed include: • Student-teacher ratio, and • Optimal class size.


Institutional Research In order to inform our

decision-making across the board, The Hill will create a school-wide mechanism for collecting and analyzing data. Such data will allow us to track and respond incisively to: • Student and parent

satisfaction with college preparation and the college advising process;

• Student fulfillment through their first years at Hill and

through their sixth form year; • Faculty and staff achievement and sense of well-being; and

• Alumni reflection on the value

of their Hill experiences 5, 10, and 20 years after their Hill graduations.


Campus master plan The Hill will review, validate, and, as needed, revise the Campus Master Plan by January 2014. Priority projects will include: • Improved faculty housing; • New state-of-the-art facilities for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics; • Attractive, ample classroom facilities for classics, history, religious studies, and philosophy; • Improvements to all athletics facilities; • Expanded and enhanced facilities for day student use; and • Additional, inviting space for student meetings.


Thank you... The Hill School depends upon the involvement, input, and support of our alumni, parents, and friends. We thank you for your interest in the Strategic Plan and we encourage you to share your questions and comments about our initiatives as well as other aspects of the School with Headmaster Zack Lehman. E-mail: Zlehman@thehill.org

610-705-1280


The Hill School Strategic Plan