Heart of the Hill

By Kim Barnes, Head of Early Childhood

“Dear White 8,
When I returned to my desk after our last HOH, the little flowering plant that you left on my desk made me both happy and grateful to be part of a community that cares. Thanks for such a thoughtful day-brightener!

Appreciatively,

Mr. Kasten”

Heart of the Hill has been a “living cog” on this campus for the past eighteen years. Simultaneously 1,400 students and employees move to classrooms all over campus for a few moments of service, games, conversation, or group traditions. Each of the 80 groups is comprised of students from various grade levels, such as White 8 has students from 2nd grade, 6th grade, and 10th grade. To this point in time, I have been with “my group” long enough to see two groups graduate.

Over the past couple of years, we (the adults in White 8) have given the responsibility of planning group activities to our group of upper schoolers. While some of the activities may be variations on projects we have done in past years, the projects that tend to be echoed deal with service and gratitude. This year in our February meeting the idea from one of the 10th graders was to thank the “Legends” on campus for each of their twenty-five years or more of service to Greenhill School. They wanted to use an idea we had used last year via designing flower pots, writing cards, and potting a flowering plant. These were a pleasant surprise! Of course, learning about each person who is a Legend and what his or her job entails gave the students a greater understanding of how this school works and the variety of jobs found on this campus.

Sometimes walking onto this campus or just driving by and seeing this vast parcel of land or being a small child and seeing the many Lower Schoolers on the playground at the same time can be overwhelming. There are many people, many buildings, and big spaces on this campus. Yet through events such as Heart of the Hill, this campus becomes a little smaller and a lot tighter. During these times the campus “cog” becomes family as people are the Heart of the Hill.

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