A Day in the Life of Mr. Hill


Photo by: Matthew Cavanaugh

Mr. Hill, addressing the student body.

Robert W. Hill III is Williston’s Head of School and has been for six years. His office is located on the first floor of the Schoolhouse building, but he can be found all over campus at sporting events, different campus activities and sometimes even in academic classrooms

Mr. Hill is married to Kathryn Hill, a math teacher at Willison, and has two children, one who graduated from Williston and one who currently attends. Mr. Hill is a very busy man, but he always makes time for his family and the students.

Mr. Hill says, “I love being able to talk to students about their experience at the school or the things that they are passionate about.”

He continues, “A bad day for me is when I feel like I am in my office all day, if I do not get a chance to pop upstairs and look into a Math classroom or go through Reed and see what is going on in the art center. At the end of that day, I feel a little bit depressed because I have not seen enough of what students are doing.”

Mr. Hill was asked to describe a typical Tuesday and the events that take place.

6:00-6:30 am: Mr. Hill wakes up as he tends to be an early riser. After rising, he notes, “Generally [then] when I walk downstairs I get assaulted by our puppy dog.”

6:30 am: Mr. Hill takes his two dogs out for a walk, no matter what the weather may be.

6:45-7:15 am: When he returns from his walk with his dogs, he enjoys making a strong cup of coffee before grabbing an early morning read. He sits at his computer generally reading journals, reading anything from The Chronical of Higher Education to The New York Review of Books, or just CNN.

Mr. Hill notes, “It is really important for me to get my morning going with a cup of coffee and reading what is going on in the world.”

7:30 am: Mr. Hill jokes that he calls dibs on the shower at this time. Then, after he finishes, he gets dressed in his typical coat and tie.

8:30-9:30 am: Mr. Hill has a standing Deans meeting every Tuesday morning, including the Dean of Faculty, Peter Valine, the Dean of Students, Kathy Noble, Academic Dean, Greg Tuleja and Mr. Ketchum. They all meet in sort of a round table setting and report on what is going on at the school.

Mr. Hill says, “After that [the Deans meeting] I may or may not have other scheduled meetings with teachers or in some cases with students.”

A chunk of every day for Mr. Hill is writing handwritten notes, often to alumni either thanking them for service to the school or maybe thanking a donor for a gift. Usually this happens sometime in the morning before lunch.

12:00-1:15 pm: Every other Tuesday Mr. Hill has a standing administrative team meeting which is when its 12 members gather to discuss what things are happening from every major area of the school about what is going on or things that might need to happen or be done.

Mr. Hill adds, “It is a meeting that both looks forward and talks about the present. Generally after that I try to get lunch, lunch could be ten minutes long or, at the most, 20, 25 minutes long.”

1:30-2:00 pm: If Mr. Hill finds some time around this point in the afternoon he briefly returns home to let his dogs outside. He likes this time because it gives him a chance to get out of the office, see campus and get a bit of fresh air for himself.

The rest of his Tuesday afternoons vary with meetings, work, and emails, but he notes that most of the time he will most likely be found in his office.

5:00 pm: Mr. Hill says around 5:00 pm he will try to leave his office, once everything is taken care of, and head home.

5:45 pm: Mr. Hill walks to the dining hall, where he enjoys dinner. Sometimes he has meetings on Tuesdays evenings which can take place during or after dinner.

6:30-7:00 pm: Mr. Hill will get home for the night.

7:00-8:00 pm: He will spend time catching up, taking care of all his emails for the day. When he is done he tries to get some down time before he goes to bed at night.

10:00 pm: He tries to start winding down and will try to read again if time allows and if he is able to do so it is great because he likes to keep up with the news.

11:00 pm: He tries to go to bed relatively early and will usually settle in around 11:00 each night to be able to get up and start his day all over again.