Accounts Payable Manager/Financial Aid Coordinator
Mary Babione joined Hill School’s business office in the spring of 2014 as our Accounts Payable Manager and Financial Aid Coordinator. One of her favorite things about Hill School is the commitment of the staff to the mission of the school. Mrs. Babione earned her Business Management degree from Virginia Tech and she and her family re-located to Fort Worth in 2012. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and travelling and keeping up with her three grown children, all living in Atlanta!
Middle and Upper School Science Teacher
Science Department Chair
Eileen Bain joined Hill School as an innovative Science instructor in 2011 after teaching in parochial school for several years. Before moving to Texas with her 5 children and finding her true calling in education, Ms. Bain worked as an occupational therapist in Louisiana. She studied at LSU Medical Center where she earned her bachelor’s degree and has teaching certification through UTA. “Blending my educational beliefs with my personal experiences made me realize that learning is possible for all children if one takes the time to discover how they learn best.” She is the mother of five wonderful, talented, grown children and mamaw to five fantastic grandchildren; football season finds her cheering for Duke, Tulane, LSU, UNC, UNT, A&M, TCU, WSU, and MSU to appease each of them. Mrs. Bain likes working at Hill School because she loves the challenge of teaching students with unique talents.
Visual Arts Teacher, All Divisions
Susan Baraniecki earned her degree in Fine Arts Studio/Fine Arts Education from Kean University in New Jersey. The 2016-17 school year marks her eighth year teaching full time with Hill School, although Mrs. Baraniecki was a favorite substitute teacher for years before then! In the classroom, Mrs. Baraniecki has goals – she wants her students to “take risks, make mistakes, assess, and have fun while learning the creative process.” She values working with other passionate Hill School educators and wants her students to become life-long learners.
Middle School Teacher, Grade 6 and Grade 8
Dianne Bobo has been with Hill School since 1989 and loves working with her colleagues! She has her B.S. in English and Sociology with a minor in Political Science from East Texas State University and earned her Education degree from Texas Christian University. Since 1989, she has been a member of Kappa Delta Pi, an international honor society in education, and was once named the Star-Telegram’s Teacher of the Week and Hill School’s Teacher of the Year. In addition to enjoying her work with other Hill faculty as well as her students and their families, she treasures creating “an atmosphere that fosters learning and believes that every student deserves a chance to be an independent learner.”
Audrey Boda-Davis began her career at Hill School in 2000 as a classroom teacher, and before becoming Executive Director in the spring of 2011, she worked as an administrator and teacher in both the middle and upper school divisions. She will tell you that the spirit of what happens at Hill captured her heart from the first time she walked through the door. She believes in “helping students to learn about their own learning” and knows that in this environment, students “gain confidence, take on new challenges, and blossom!” From 2001-2007, she served as a professional development facilitator for All Kinds of Minds institute and trained teachers in and around Texas each summer. Additionally, she has given presentations on learning differences and educational technology to other educators at the local, state and national levels. Mrs. Boda-Davis has degrees from the University of Alberta and her MBA from Texas Christian University. She hails from Canada and has been found guilty (more than once) of playing many a practical joke on her beloved Hill School colleagues.
Lower School Teacher
Nancy Boon has 40+ years of teaching experience and Hill School has been blessed with her for just over 30 years. Since she began at Hill in 1984, she has come to treasure the family environment and values the many friendships she has formed with her colleagues. Mrs. Boon earned her degree in elementary education in 1974 from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and believes that “learning should be fun.” She loves to laugh with her students every day!
Roxann Breyer joined Hill School in 2006 and, before that, she taught at another area private school. She earned her undergraduate degree in math and business from the University of Mary Hardin Baylor and her master’s degree from Texas Christian University, where she taught freshman biology and environmental science before making the move to secondary school. Ms. Breyer is a Schools Attuned Facilitator and has attended Learning and the Brain conferences over the last several years. At Hill, she most enjoys watching the Hill students grow and learn new things. In her free time, Ms. Breyer can be found travelling with her grown son.
Middle School Teacher
Janis Brooks’ first job was working as the private branch exchange operator at the University of Oklahoma (“It was great fun!”) where she earned her undergraduate degree in Music Education. Since then, she has taught school in both private and public school settings, and, having joined Hill School in 1990, she recently celebrated her 25th year with the school! In this time, Mrs. Brooks has made some wonderful, life-long friends with fellow teachers and parents. Along the way, Mrs. Brooks also earned her master’s degree in Elementary Education from Texas Wesleyan University. She enjoys reading, sewing, cooking and creating fun things for her grandchildren, and believes that “if you provide a warm learning environment, love and care about your students and treat them with respect, they will learn, be successful and excel.”
Dean of Students, Athletic Director
Jimmy Cessna first joined Hill School in 2009 as a teacher and coach and served as Assistant Athletic Director in 2012-2013 before temporarily re-locating to Arizona. While there, Mr. Cessna worked at the San Diego/Seattle Mariners spring training facility. Mr. Cessna has always been involved with sports in one way or another! During his college years at Missouri Baptist University where he earned a B.S. in Sports Management, he played basketball, serving as Team Captain his junior and senior years. Additionally, he was named to the Academic All-Conference Team in 2005 and 2006. Before finding Hill School, he worked with the St. Louis Cardinals Organization and the Amateur Softball Association. His return this year to Hill is like coming home. Mr. Cessna believes his job is to help each student find the best way to reach goals, both in the classroom and in life. In his free time, Mr. Cessna enjoys spending time with his wife and young daughter … and watching sports!
Upper School Science Teacher
Seth Davis joined Hill School in January 2015 and earned his undergraduate degree in Speech-Language Pathology Audiology and his master’s degree in Applied Cognition and Neuroscience, both from the University of Texas at Dallas. Mr. Davis recently spent time in neuroscience research working at the Center for BrainHealth in Dallas and is particularly interested in neurophysiology and genetics. Now that he is in a classroom, he’s very much enjoying his time with Hill students – he finds them not only polite and friendly but dynamic and very smart! Above all, he wants his students to see him as approachable. Outside of school, Mr. Davis’ interests include music and spending time with his family.
Upper School English and Reading, Upper and Middle School Math Teacher
Chris Errico taught in public school for 5 years before joining Hill School in 2001. She enjoys teaching at Hill because she likes helping students who might struggle in school to find success. Mrs. Errico earned her degree in Special Education from the University of West Florida and believes that “all kids can learn.” Married to fellow Hill School teacher Mr. Matt Errico for 20 years, they have teamed up to sponsor the school’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Additionally, they are parents to three children, including two recent Hill School graduates. They are their kids’ biggest fans!
Upper School History Teacher
History Department Chair
Varsity Boys’ Basketball Coach
Matt Errico has his undergraduate degree in Health, Leisure and Sport/Physical Education from the University of West Florida and his Master’s in Religious Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary here in Fort Worth. Having joined Hill in 1995, he is in his 20th year at Hill School! Mr. Errico believes in providing a “safe environment where students can feel like they can take chances and be encouraged by the process.” During his time at Hill, Mr. Errico has been named District Coach of the Year for Basketball three times by TCAF, the school’s athletic conference, has coached three District Champion teams in basketball (most recently earning the 2014 TCAF Division I Boys’ Basketball Championship) as well as three State Championship teams in girls’ golf. He loves that Hill is truly a family and has former students from 18 years ago still come back to see him! Married to fellow Hill School teacher Mrs. Chris Errico for over 20 years, they have teamed up to sponsor the school’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes. They are also parents to 3 children, including two recent Hill School graduates. Together they are their kids’ biggest fans!
Communications & Records Manager
Varsity Cheer Coach
Michelle Frantz joined Hill School in 2004 and enjoys the family atmosphere – she will tell you that the “students and their families are awesome and the faculty and staff are great to work with!” Mrs. Frantz loves working with the cheer squad each year. Each year, she looks forward to what cheer season has in store for the group because there’s “never a dull moment” at Hill! Ask Mrs. Frantz about her participation in GI Jane Day – throwing a grenade was a highlight! Mother to three children, her spare time finds her going on adventures with her family.
Joanna Gant joined Hill School in September 2014 after 12 years in corporate accounting in Dallas and Fort Worth. Originally from Kansas City, Missouri, Mrs. Gant earned her undergraduate degree in education from Texas Christian University and then her M.B.A. from the University of Texas at Arlington. Very shortly after arriving, she felt welcomed and at home at Hill. She values working at a school that partners with the greater Fort Worth community to make it a better place. In her spare time, Mrs. Gant enjoys reading, watching movies and spending time with her family!
Front Desk Coordinator
Upper School Teacher
Fine Arts Chair
Drama Club Adviser
This year, Brandi Giles begins her 10th year at Hill School and brings a contagious enthusiasm to her classroom. She earned her degree in communication with an emphasis on human relations from Texas Christian University, and has a double minor in deaf habilitation and sociology. Brandi also has an M.A. in Communication from The University of Texas at Arlington. As the Drama Club Advisor, Ms. Giles is a natural – she often can be found on stage at The Uptown Theatre, The Family Music Theatre or Garland Civic Theatre. She has performed in Hairspray, Beauty and the Beast, In The Heights and The Wiz, among others.
Middle and Upper School Spanish Teacher
Born and raised in Spain, Blanca Gonzalez moved to the United States in 2001. She joined the Hill School faculty in 2013 and enjoys the small classes and the teaching environment where her goal is “to motivate students toward a level of independence where they develop a desire to learn and think for themselves.” She has her master’s degree in Foreign Language and Literature from the University of Alcala de Henares in Madrid and has taught every age of student, from kindergarten to the college level. Maestra Gonzalez enjoys spending time with her husband and their young daughter (who is bi-lingual) and has done work with the American Cancer Society and Red Cross.
Director of College and Career Counseling
With over 15 years’ experience in school settings, ranging from middle school to college, Abbey Griffin joined Hill School two years ago as the Director of College and Career Counseling. Immediately, she felt very much at home. She is excited about “helping students along their journey to find the best match for their college or career!” Mrs. Griffin earned her undergraduate degree in English from Texas Wesleyan University, where she met her husband, a high school band director and percussionist. Together they have a 9-year-old son and a young daughter and enjoy spending time together as a family.
Middle and Upper School Math Teacher
Upper School Math Curriculum Coordinator
This year, Christi Hanson begins her 12th year at Hill School where she likes getting to know her students in the small setting and watching them grow over the course of the year. She earned her undergraduate degree at West Texas A&M in Interdisciplinary Studies – math, education, sports and exercise science – and her master’s degree from the University of Phoenix. Mrs. Hanson strives to be a “fair yet consistent educator with high expectations while still allowing for the feeling of success.” Out of the classroom, one might find Mrs. Hanson with her husband watching their two daughters on a volleyball court somewhere!
Director of Technology
Phillip Howley joined Hill School’s administrative team in 2008 as our Technology Director. From his first days, Mr. Howley has been a student favorite and he enjoys the family atmosphere of Hill School – “it’s more than just a school community.” Mr. Howley’s previous work experiences at Renweb in training and support made him a natural fit for Hill. Since its inception in 2009, Mr. Howley has been instrumental in developing Hill’s 1:1 Technology Integration Initiative. Mr. Howley enjoys the small part of his day that he can be in the classroom with his media students and in his spare time, he spends time with his family doing outdoor activities.
History and Math Teacher
Varsity Football and Track Coach/Middle School Basketball Coach
Sheldon Jackson joined Hill School in 2013 and in his first year coached the girls’ track team to a TCAF State Championship. With a degree in psychology, he has been involved with youth mentoring for 20 years. He could once be found on the NFL field as a member of the Buffalo Bills football team and now brings that invaluable experience to the Hill School athletic program. In his free time, Mr. Jackson enjoys spending time with his family and loves motorcycles!
Community Relations Coordinator
Having joined Hill School in 1990, Judy King has been a part of the school for 27 years. Mrs. King loves working with children and will tell you that “Hill School is a happy place where miracles happen every day.” Mrs. King and her husband have two grown sons, and in her spare time, she likes to shop and bake all while staying very involved with her church.
Upper School English Teacher
Emily Kretchmar joined the Hill School faculty in 2013 after several years working at both the college level and in a public school setting. She earned her English degree from the University of Texas at Arlington, having graduated Summa Cum Laude, and has an M.A. in Classical Studies from Tulane University. She enjoys working at Hill School because both “the students and faculty are friendly and eager.” She believes that students are all endowed with “unique qualities and gifts” and she looks forward to helping Hill students be advocates for themselves.
Faculty Member and Athletic Coach
Kent Kretchmar has been both a dedicated part time Hill School coach and substitute teacher for many years, so it was no surprise when Mr. Kretchmar officially joined the Hill School faculty in 2013. Mr. Kretchmar earned his undergraduate degree in history from the University of Texas at Arlington, and has taught third graders. In his free time, Mr. Kretchmar enjoys history, traveling and learning about technology.
Susan Little joined the Hill School family in November 2016 and brings with her many years of experience in the areas of fundraising in the Fort Worth area. While she has lived far and away, Ms. Little was raised in Fort Worth and earned her undergraduate degree at Texas Christian University. The majority of her adult life has been in sales and building relationships, having worn many hats along the way. The arts are a passion, and she has served as the Interim Development Director for the Fort Worth Arts Council and most recently as a Donor Relations Officer with the Fort Worth Opera. Ms. Little also enjoys reading, watching movies and spending time with her young son. As the parent of a child on the spectrum, Hill School’s mission hits close to her heart.
Upper School Science
Kathy Ortiz joined Hill School in 1996 and is in her 23rd year with us! She earned her undergraduate degree in biology from Tarleton State University and enjoys teaching science to high schoolers, which she believes is an opportunity to teach kids who are like herself. She wants students to know that they can be successful too! In 2009, the Yearbook Staff named Mrs. Ortiz Hill School’s Teacher of the Year. In her time outside the classroom, Mrs. Ortiz spends time with her four wonderful grandkids.
Lower School Teacher
Amy Rains joined Hill School in 2013, having taught for 12 years in both public and private schools before making the move to Hill. Mrs. Rains earned her degree in interdisciplinary studies – Life/Earth Science – from The University of Texas at Arlington and is proud to teach at Hill School. She treasures that here each child “receives a quality education regardless of their differences.” Mrs. Rains hopes to bring her experience as the mother of a child who learns differently into the classroom. Her son Alex, Hill School Class of 2016, is in his first year at Tarrant Community College. In her free time, you will find Mrs. Rains spending time with her husband, son and their two poodles, Jack and Barney.
Middle School Teacher
English Department Chair
Bringing over 20 years of experience with her, Mrs. Rosales joined the Hill School faculty in 2013. She earned her undergraduate degree from Tarleton State University and her master’s from Texas Wesleyan University and believes that students “learn in different ways, at different speeds and have different strengths and weaknesses.” Mrs. Rosales loves to read and play games with her husband and their two daughters.
Director of Enrollment Management
Linda Sherlock has enjoyed working in school settings for more than 25 years and joined Hill School in 2011. Leaving briefly in June 2013 (for a year), she ran back to Fort Worth from Phoenix and has settled back into her work at Hill, which she loves. Mrs. Sherlock helps prospective families navigate the application process and enjoys welcoming new families to the Hill School community.
Lower School Teacher
Susan Smart loves the family atmosphere at Hill School and believes that each classroom presents “a unique community of learners.” She enjoys being able to give her students a safe learning environment where they may “discover the tools to cultivate their own gardens of knowledge.” Mrs. Smart loves animals and has worked with dogs, Palominos and Nigerian Dwarf Goats. She has her degree in geology from the University of Texas at Arlington and joined Hill School in 2008. Mother to three children, Mrs. Smart’s youngest is a Hill School student.
Hill School Counselor
Taylor Spiker joined Hill School’s Educational Team in 2013 and is enjoying her fourth year with the students and faculty. She earned her psychology degree from Texas A&M and went on to earn her Master of Education in Counseling from Texas Christian University. Mrs. Spiker believes that “each child is special and therefore should feel valued, respected, and empowered.” In her free time, Mrs. Spiker enjoys outdoor adventures – especially with her husband and dog – doing things like hiking, camping, and skydiving.
Lower and Middle School Assistant Principal
8th Grade English Teacher
DeeDee Stack has over 25 years of experience in education. Mrs. Stack has both her undergraduate degree and her master’s (in education) from Texas Christian University. She spent many years teaching English at other schools in the area before joining Hill School in 2009 as an administrator. She likes that Hill School is a “comfortable environment where faculty, students, and parents are actively involved in the learning process.” She especially enjoys working with teachers that are passionate about their craft and committed to meeting the needs of all students. She loves traveling with her husband and two children or spending a quiet evening at home with a good book.
Upper School English Teacher
Denise Trahan joined Hill School in 2012 and likes the small classes, the sense of community and the fact that Hill students help each other without judgment. For her, “every day is an opportunity to learn something new!” Mrs. Trahan earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Texas and loves to travel, cook and go to the movies. Mother to 3 boys, she believes that every day is a surprise and hopes that her enthusiasm is contagious. In December, Mrs. Trahan will complete her Masters in Education from Concordia University and will receive her Principal Certification then, as well.
Upper School English/Psychology/Yearbook
Brian Worley is now in his 8th year of teaching at Hill School, having joined the Hill School family in 2008. Mr. Worley earned his undergraduate degree in English from the University of Texas at Arlington. He loves to read, whether for his students, his children, or (when time allows) himself. Mr. Worley enjoys the “daily challenge of finding better or different ways of explaining the world” to his students, which, he says, enhances his own understanding of the world. Mr. Worley appreciates that Hill School’s supportive environment allows him to grow and learn as he’s helping his students to do the same. He and his wife Sarah have two small children at home, ensuring that his nights and weekends are as full (and fulfilling) as his days.
Lower School Faculty
As our Lower School program began to grow after the Christmas break, it was evident that Hill School needed another faculty member. Enter Erin Zagotti! She and her family moved to Fort Worth in July, 2014, and Erin began searching for a school; she joined Hill in February, 2015. Part of her experience includes working in the public school district in Florida for 4 years as a teacher for pre-kindergarten students with disabilities. At Hill, Erin’s classroom fosters an environment where students are fully and actively engaged, having fun, and making strides despite differences they may face. Outside of school, Erin likes to camp, spend time on the water, and travel with her family. And because her husband was active duty in the military, she was able to live in Japan for 2 ½ years and travel to places that would not have been possible without the opportunity to live overseas. Erin earned her undergraduate degree in telecommunications and her M.A. in Special Education at The University of West Florida.