The Hill School (commonly known as The Hill) is a coeducational preparatory boarding school located on a 200-acre (81 ha) campus in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, about 35 mi (56 km) northwest of Philadelphia. The Hill is part of the Ten Schools Admissions Organization (TSAO).
|The Hill School|
860 Beech St
|Other name||The Hill|
|Former name||Family Boarding School for Boys and Young Men (1851-74)|
|Type||Independent selective college-preparatory boarding & day high school|
|Motto||Whatsoever things are true|
|NCES School ID||A0902935|
|Chair||James L. Alexandre '75|
|Chaplain||Rev. Khristi Adams|
|• Grade 9||108|
|• Grade 10||126|
|• Grade 11||142|
|• Grade 12||153|
|Average class size||10|
|Student to teacher ratio||7.1|
|Hours in school day||7.1|
|Campus size||200 acres (81 ha)|
|Color(s)||Gray & Blue|
|Song||A Thousand Hands|
|Fight song||Dear Old Hill|
|Rival||The Lawrenceville School|
|Annual tuition||$63,870 (boarding)|
|Affiliation||Ten Schools Admissions Organization|
The school opened on May 1, 1851, enrolling 25 boys for the first year. According to Paul Chancellor's The History of The Hill School: 1851-1976, “He [Meigs] wanted to stress that he was not founding still another academy, but a type of school quite new and rare in America. There is a tendency to think that the boys' boarding school as we know it existed as long as there have been private schools. It has not.... The Hill was the first to be founded as a "family boarding school" (a school where the students lived on campus), as opposed to boarding with families in the town."
In the early 20th century, The Hill was a feeder school for Princeton University; a prominent "The Hill School Club" operated at Princeton for the benefit of alumni. The prevalence of Hill alumni, as well as those of Lawrenceville, Hotchkiss, Exeter and Phillips Academy, at Princeton led F. Scott Fitzgerald to lament that it was those of 'lesser' preparatory schools which were more prepared for the fray. The admissions process was relaxed for Hill School students, with cases including George Garrett, Princeton 1952, who was admitted when he confessed that he liked the striped football uniforms. At one point, Lawrenceville and Hill sent more students to Princeton than all public schools combined. Today, Hill alumni attend a wide variety of colleges.
The Hill School offers Chinese, French, Spanish, Arabic, Latin, and Ancient Greek classes.
The Hill School has had a relationship with Charterhouse School in the United Kingdom since 1994 that includes instructional trips, along with exchanges of extracurricular programs and teachers. It is linked with the Maru a Pula School in Botswana. As well, the Hill hosts a Thai King's Scholar every year. The Hill School is a participating school in the Naval Academy Foundation Prep Program.
In the early days of the school, boys played shinney, town ball, football and cricket. Matthew Meigs was not an athlete yet allowed sporting pursuits, unlike his contemporaries such as Samuel Taylor of Phillips Academy. During John Meigs' tenure as headmaster, organized and interscholastic sports began at The Hill. Tennis became the dominant sport during this period, unlike baseball at other schools.
The Hill School is a member of the Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL), which the School joined in 1998. The Hill School was a charter member of the Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association (PAISAA), which became an officially sanctioned organization in 2011. In 2014, The Hill School received associate membership in the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC).
The Hill School's rivalry with Lawrenceville dates back to 1887. It is the fifth-oldest high school rivalry in the United States. Originally an annual football game, the schools compete against each other in all of the fall sports on either the first or second weekend in November.
Participation in athletics is considered a vital part of a Hill education. All third and fourth form students must participate in at least two seasons of interscholastic sports, and all fifth and sixth formers must play at least one interscholastic season. Students may fulfill a season requirement by serving as a student athletic trainer or team manager.
The Hill School has been described as different in style and spirit from its counterparts in New England, and has been described as strict and demanding. It has also been described as conservative.
Alumnus Oliver Stone described his experience at The Hill School: "I hated the Hill School at the time. It was monastic. Horrible food, no girls. It was truly one of those Charles Dickens' types of experiences. And I really hated it. Years later I came to appreciate it. I think the inquiry and above all the discipline, of studying and concentrating and sitting down and doing it." The Hill has been criticized, alongside other East Coast Protestant schools, for promoting "snobbish", undemocratic, and "un-American values".
Headmasters of The Hill School since its founding in 1851:
|Matthew Meigs||1851–1876||Union College, Union Theological Seminary||Presbyterian minister and former President of Delaware College.|
|John Meigs||1876–1911||Hill, Lafayette College||Took over as headmaster at age 24.|
|Alfred G. Rolfe||1911–1914|
|Dwight R. Meigs||1914–1922||Son of John Meigs, who created the current dining room, described by the school as "a pivotal gathering space on The Hill School’s campus."|
|Dr. Boyd Edwards||1922–1928|||
|James Wendell||1928–1952||Wesleyan||Olympic silver medalist in 110 m hurdles|
|Edward (Ned) T. Hall||1952–1968||Also served as ice hockey coach|
|Archibald R. Montgomery||1968–1973||Westminster, Penn||Left to become headmaster of St. Stephen's Episcopal School. Former United States Marine.|
|Charles C. Watson||1973–1993||Former U.S Navy officer|
|David R. Dougherty||1993–2012||Episcopal High School, Washington and Lee University||Oversaw shift to co-ed school|
|Zachary G. Lehman||2012–2022||Phillips Exeter Academy, Dartmouth College, Harvard Law School|||
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- TheHillSchool1851 (2016-05-10), The Hill School's Historic Move to Coeducation in 1998 (2016), archived from the original on 2017-04-06, retrieved 2017-06-22
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- "Advancement Placement Courses". The Hill School. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
- "The Hill School, Pottstown, USA", Charterhouse School. Accessed March 13, 2017. "The relationship between Charterhouse and The Hill School, Pottstown, USA, started in 1994 and has developed into a strong working partnership that has seen regular science trips (every year for over ten years), a theatre trip, choir visits, football matches, and a teaching exchange."
- "Student Exchanges | Maru-a-Pula School". Maruapula.org. Retrieved 2017-07-26.
- "Profile for Colleges" (PDF). www.thehill.org.
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- "Mid-Atlantic Prep League". Maplathletics.org. Retrieved 2017-07-26.
- "Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association". Paisaasports.org. Retrieved 2017-07-26.
- Seeley, Don. Hill School vs. Lawrenceville more than a rivalry. Pottstown Mercury (Pennsylvania). November 12, 2010. "The fifth-oldest rivalry in all of America is enough to kindle the Rams and the entire Hill School campus."
- "Recordings of Hill Day wins for football and field hockey now available | Peddie School". Peddie.org. 2014-10-13. Retrieved 2017-07-26.
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- (a1) State University of New York (2017-02-24). "Education of an Elite | History of Education Quarterly | Cambridge Core". History of Education Quarterly. Cambridge.org. 28 (3): 367–386. doi:10.2307/369088. JSTOR 369088. Retrieved 2017-07-26.
- Early Hill School History (1851-2012), The Hill School. Accessed January 5, 2018.
- A Handbook of the Best Private Schools of the United States and Canada, p. 146. Accessed January 7, 2018. "Established by the Rev. Matthew Meigs in 1851 prospered under its founder but owes its great success to the executive capacity of his son Dr. John Meigs, who reorganized the school in 1876 and to whose genius it remains a lasting monument."
- Staff. "Prof. John Meigs Dead.; Principal of the Hill School Was a Prominent Educator.", The New York Times, November 8, 1911. Accessed January 5, 2018.
- Seated Meals in the Dining Room, The Hill School. Accessed January 7, 2018. "Constructed in 1914, the present Dining Room was the first distinguished accomplishment of The Hill's third headmaster, Dwight Meigs, grandson of our founder, the Reverend Matthew Meigs."
- Staff. "Hill School Gets New Headmaster.", The New York Times, May 21, 1922. Accessed January 5, 2018. "Elaborate ceremonies this afternoon marked the induction into his new position of the Rev. Dr. Boyd Edwards, formerly of Orange, N.J., as headmaster of the Hill School."
- Staff. "Dr. James Wendell, Headed Hill School", The New York Times, November 23, 1958. Accessed January 5, 2018.
- Strauss, Michael. "Prep School Sports; Hill Headmaster Builds Interest in Hockey Despite Forecast of Warmer Winters", The New York Times, January 5, 1953. Accessed January 7, 2018. "Ned Hall, the new headmaster at The Hill School, came upon a disconcerting item over the holidays. While on a junket through New England and New York, Hall read a report in which a Yale scientist said winters in this hemisphere would be warmer and drier for approximately two centuries."
- "Archibald R. Montgomery Iii, Educator".
- Staff. "Watson Is Appointed As Hill's Headmaster", The New York Times, June 10, 1973. Accessed January 5, 2018. "Charles Caldwell Watson has been appointed to succeed Archibald R. Montgomery 3d as headmaster of the Hill School, the boy's preparatory school in Pottstown, Pa."
- Brandt, Evan. "Hill School headmaster reveals plans to retire", The Mercury (Pennsylvania), May 1, 2011. Accessed January 6, 2018. "David R. Dougherty, the headmaster who oversaw the historic conversion of The Hill School from a boys' college preparatory school to a co-ed facility, has announced he will retire next year, ending a 19-year career at the school."
- Brandt, Evan. "Maine educator chosen to lead The Hill School", The Mercury (Pennsylvania), November 14, 2011. Accessed January 6, 2018. "An assistant headmaster at a Maine private school has been selected as the new Hill School headmaster it was announced Monday. Zachary Gimbel Lehman, 38, who has served for six years as the assistant head of school for advancement at Gould Academy in Bethel, Maine, will take over for retiring Headmaster David R. Dougherty, who, with his wife Kay, will retire on June 30, 2012 after 19 years of service to the school."