On Friday, September 18, 2015, long time teacher J. Bennett Hill, Jr. was introduced by Head of School, Sally Keidel as the kick-off speaker for the Centennial Chapel Series. Sally talked about the long history and traditions of Montgomery School, and Mr. Hill's role as a teacher. He taught at Montgomery School from 1953 until the school moved to its current location in Chester Springs in 1988. Miss Almy hired him to teach nature study and science. The following year, under new Head of School Michael Martin's request, he began living on Montgomery's campus, to help with the 5 day a week boarding program. That year Mr. Hill continued to teach science, but when the Latin teacher didn't arrive, he also taught several Latin students. In the afternoon, Mr. Hill worked with the 3rd and 4th grade students on the afternoon play, and also managed the Dramatics Club, where they did productions of Shakespeare, Moliere, and Gilbert and Sullivan.
Mr. Hill started the soccer program at Montgomery, and slowly grew it to include a team for 9 and 10 year olds, which he coached for many years. He also coached Jr. Baseball for 3rd and 4th graders in the spring. Bennett had the pleasure of serving with five different Montgomery Heads of School in his tenure: Miss Almy and Miss Ratledge, Mr. Michael Martin, Mr. Derek Stedman, Mr. Tom Woodward, and Mr. Geoff Campbell.
Prior to his teaching career, he attended The Miquon School, The Haverford School, and Swarthmore College, where he majored in Fine Arts (which at that time was Art History). He has always been well loved by his students, and continues to stay connected to Montgomery today. He is a frequent visitor to our campus, and our library is named in his honor.
Mr. Hill spoke about the significance of "The 100" - the hymn sung at the beginning of every chapel at Montgomery School. Following the chapel, Mr. Hill greeted visitors, and rang the new school bell located near the farmhouse.