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Thoughts about Being the Principal of Oak Ridge School….

by Trish Hill, principal – Oak Ridge School

At Open House in September, Ms. Hill shared the following thoughts with Oak Ridge families. We are sharing her remarks to introduce her to the entire Sandwich Public Schools community. 

Like all parents, my children are the most treasured people in my life.  When I think about getting to know the principal of my child’s school, knowing their heart is as important to me as knowing their resume.  Everyday, parents place a great degree of trust in us to keep their children safe, to make sure they are happy and that they become life long learners.  I think this really hit me on the day of our first fire drill.

During the fire drill that students and teachers lined up silently in their rows out in the field.  As I looked out on all of those faces, I realized, “I am responsible for every one of these kids.”  It is an awesome responsibility, in every sense of the word.

So in sharing my story with all of you, I want you to know that I value and honor that responsibility and will work to earn it everyday.

I was born and raised in the Bronx.  My parents worked multiple jobs.  They worked hard to provide for our family of 6.  We didn’t always have everything we wanted, but my parents always made sure we had everything we needed.  They often sacrificed their own needs and wants to provide for us.  This instilled a great sense of gratitude for all that I have as well as a strong work ethic.

Even working multiple jobs, my parents always valued the connection to our school community. My parents each took turns as PTA presidents and volunteered to coach, work in the main office and run community outreach programs.  This sense of service, and of being in service to others was a key reason I chose to attend Fordham University.  Fordham’s Jesuit tradition of service built upon the foundation my parents instilled in me and is still at the core of who I am as a person and as a professional.

While at Fordham, I pursued a major in Biology.  Having been told by a male teacher that girls should not do science, I threw myself at this challenge full stop.  I not only wanted to be a scientist, but wanted to become a science teacher in order to show the next generation, that girls can excel at math and science.

As soon as I began teaching I realized that education was my calling.  I believe there is a difference between having a job, having a career and finding your calling.  Teaching is what I’m passionate about; it is my calling.  Everyday, I feel so fortunate to get to do what I love.

In my 20+ years in education, I have always pursued opportunities to continually learn more and contribute more to whatever school community of which I worked.  I’ve been a teacher, a team leader, a curriculum coordinator and an administrator.  Since joining Sandwich five years ago, I have grown as an educator and been able to contribute as part of an amazing team of people.

I believe so strongly in the people, the mindset and the vision of Sandwich that I have chosen to bring my own children here for school.  I share this with all of you, because like you, my children are the most cherished people in my life.  As a parent and an educator, I want you to know that your children spend their day surrounded by people who are dedicated to their well-being, who are dedicated to continual improvement and who are grateful to have the opportunity to serve and to help shape the people they become.

I’m honored to be part of the team that will move Sandwich to the next level and to be your child’s principal.

Read the announcement of Ms. Hill’s appointment as Oak Ridge Principal