The Hill School will be unveiled to students and parents today (Aug. 19) and – despite a few things left to do – they are sure to be in awe of the well-appointed new facility.
Unlike their 100-year-old former school, the McKinley, the new school has a gym, a library, bathrooms on every floor and even a lunchroom.
“When I started 23 years ago, children had to go to the basement of the school to pick up their lunch and bring it up the stairs to the classroom and eat on their desks,” said Second Grade Teacher Elena Todisco. “The school is clean and it’s cheerful. It’s keeping up with the 21st Century. There’s a tremendous amount of enthusiasm building. I’m glad it finally happened. In my personal opinion, I never thought it would finally come because they talked about it for so many years. I think the students deserve it.”
Physical Education teacher Bobby Cataldo will, for the first time at the Hill School, have a gymnasium to conduct classes. Many times, his students had to brave frigid temperatures or to exercise in the hallways. Now, a brand new gym with waist to ceiling glass and views of the new Stadium will be his new home.
“I’m thrilled for the kids,” he said. “I just can’t wait. There’s so much more we can do with a gym. This is such an exciting thing.”
Donna Felzani, a 4th grade teacher for the last 20 years, said she will be glad to see the kids get access to the technology available in the other schools.
“The technology will be so much better here and they will be able to do so much more,” she said.
Lisa Caponigro, a 5th grade teacher, said the first day would be like Christmas.
“It will be like Christmas watching their faces when they come in and see the school for the first time,” she said. “I think it will encourage a lot more relationships between grade levels. I’m excited to have the opportunity to be on the same floor as the fourth graders. We haven’t been together before.”
Supt. Dianne Kelly said it is delivering to the community what its teachers and students deserve.
“It’s what the parents, students and teache
rs deserve to have,” she said. “We have seen the successes they had at the McKinley School and how the teaching and learning was done so well in an old building without all the necessary resources. It will be interesting to see what they do when they have the resources that are in the Hill School.”