Name: Jack Hill
Position: Middle School Dean
Fresh off a cross-country move from Colorado, Jack Hill is excited to be a part of the CFS team and to be reunited with his Cambridge Community. We were able to catch him for a few minutes the day after 5-8 Curriculum Night, which had him feeling optimistic and energized about the year ahead. We sat with him and talked about books, his excitement for his students, and asked him some important questions – and some not-so-important ones. We are thrilled to introduce Jack!
1. What brought you to CFS?
The social justice mission for sure. I’m an East Coast guy as well so I wanted to get back to the East Coast for family and friends – I was eager to be back here in Cambridge specifically. The mission was a huge part of the appeal after working in Diversity and Inclusion for many years. To find a school with such a strong mission had really meant a lot to me. I was also eager to get back to Quaker schools. I started in Quaker schools; they were really a foundation for me. I started my career in Quaker schools and I will probably end my career in Quaker schools.
2. Where did you go to college?
I went to Johns Hopkins and Middlebury College. I also spent some time at Frostburg State, and I have a certification from Harvard.
3. Who lives in your house?
I have two amazing girls with my wife, Joy - Nyla who is 8 and Reagan who is 2. Reagan totally runs the show. We like to say that they don’t live with us; we live with THEM. We are also expecting a baby boy in March, which is crazy.
4. What is your favorite color?
5. What is your favorite food?
Gosh, there’s so many! I like them all! My wife makes an incredible fettuccine alfredo, with chicken or with shrimp. Wow. It’s incredible. It’s my favorite.
6. If you could have dinner with anyone living or dead, who would it be?
Maya Angelou. I would love to have dinner with her. I also haven’t met Barack Obama, and I’m a little surprised by that! I’ve run into Malia in Harvard Square, but never Barack.
7. What do you like to do when you’re not at school?
I’m basically a big kid, so I will hang out with my girls a lot. We go to the parks, to the waterfronts, we love going to bookstores, we eat together, we play. This weekend, we’re going apple picking. I also am in a book club, which has been very interesting.
8. Give us an example of your favorite childhood memory or activity.
I grew up in Baltimore City, so the Baltimore rowhouse culture is very important. Baltimore has been painted as a very violent place and yes, some parts can be, but it’s a really eclectic mix and sitting on the stoop with my cousin with a jukebox with a huge part of my upbringing. I learned empathy from sitting on the stoop, I learned about surviving. The stoop was my thing!
9. If you were an animal, what animal would you be?
A bird, I guess. An eagle! I would spread my heavenly wings and fly over everything.
10. What are you the most excited about this year?
Being with my peeps, who are our students! They are an exciting group, and the teachers too. I love to teach, so I try to teach every day. I love being in Chat Rooms with my colleagues. It’s becoming a thinktank of sorts – how we can improve teaching and learning and its impact and efficacy for students. The experience our kids get from CFS is really important to me, and working on high school placement is a new and exciting role.
I think also parent partnerships are something I’m looking forward to. We’re going to be engaging parents in conversations that may not be challenging, and some that will be, so I am excited for what we have in store.