Guardians of Beech Street — Hill Security Spotlight


Media: Jason Zhou '23

A security car stands by in front of the music house.

The radio rang; he switched the channel on his walkie-talkie and pulled up the zip of his jacket. Driving through campus with a golf cart, he greeted everyone with a big smile. A breeze blew by, the “Hill Security” badge on the back of his jacket stood out dazzlingly. This is a day in the life of a Hill school security team member.

There are many parts of Hill that make students’ day-to-day lives run more smoothly. The security team at Hill is one of those parts that are essential to the way our school runs. They are a huge part of our campus but are often left without the recognition they deserve. 

The security team is here to help the students and faculty, and they care deeply about doing their job well. Rodel Magpantay, a new member of the 2nd shift security staff said, “We just wanted you to know that we are here for you. Especially you guys like students and the faculty, anything that you need. You can just call us. Any problems just call us personally. That’s alright. We’ll try our best to help you.”

Magpantay is especially passionate about his job. He wants to make sure everything runs smoothly and things are done to his best. He said, “I’m a very religious man. So I prayed to God, you know, to guide me throughout the day, to be safe all the time. And I could do my job really well.”

During Halloween, the security team also had fun. Magpantay shared that the second shift supervisor Tom Butler pranked his colleagues and wrapped the security golf carts with caution tape. “Our work is not always serious, sometimes we tease each other as well,” Magpantay said. 

Magpantay’s favorite thing about working here is the people he is surrounded by. “It’s like working with you guys [students]. Because I am a kid at heart. I love working and talking to people. So yeah, the thing I really love about here is the diversity of the people here. The smiles of you guys.”

The ties of the Hill security team never sever as well. Second shift supervisor Tom Butler followed his father’s footsteps and Butler continued his legacy at the Hill security team for 35 years. “My dad left me with some big shoes to fill,” Butler said.

“My dad and I always seem to work together. No matter what job he has, I always seem to follow,” Butler shared. He said that back in the days his dad and he used to hang out at Upper School at night. They would keep an eye on things because there were kids from off campus who would just come in and take boomboxes or anything they could get a hold of. 

Cherishing these memories, Hill campus is the place where Butler remained ever since his father retired. With his experiences, Butler explained his standards of a good security member. 

He explained that securities staff should be friendly and approachable to everyone. The attitude needs to be right, and they should be able to handle any situation that’s coming their way. “I think it’s important that the faculty members like you to a point where they would call you personally and ask your opinion with things. That is what I have going on with me to this day,” Butler said.

The team all talked about how much they like working with each other and how they can learn things from each other, even if they have been working in security for decades. Magpantay said, “They’re pretty cool. I’ve learned a lot from them. Even though I’ve worked in the security field for a long time. I welcome all their suggestions, and I’m still eager to learn a lot from them.” He said, “Especially in this kind of setting. This is the first time I work in a school, so it’s new to me.”

The security team ranges from a variety of different backgrounds and experiences. Magpantay said that he had been working in the security field for more than two decades. Director of Security Trish Haas said, “I’m a 25-year law enforcement retiree; I worked for the Sheriff’s Department for 20 years, retired from there and went to work for the attorney general as a special agent, retired from there, and then came to the Hill School in August.”

The team has lots of different hobbies outside their jobs. “I love traveling, that’s my passion,” Magpantay said. He also shared that photography and video games were a big part of his life. Moreover, Magpantay and his Filipino family love to do karaoke on his day off. 

Although things tend to run pretty smoothly, Magpantay said that there are still a lot of improvements that the security team can make. Specifically, Magpantay said that the team could add more cameras to campus.  “I just know that we need to improve more or add more cameras around the campus. For the safety of everybody, I can see that some areas in here are kind of, like, blind. We don’t have any cameras in here. I don’t like that. For me, it’s a hazard for students, a hazard for your faculty.”

Not only does Magpantay feel like the school can improve their camera systems, but he also feels like they can make other improvements. “We need more reliable security cars. Because, you know, some of our cars are really old. And it really needs some service. And, yeah, we need something that we could use on our day-to-day shift. Especially in the winter times coming.”

Next, Haas was interviewed for a greater understanding of the security team at The Hill. She reflected on her co-workers and how they make her job better and easier.

“I heard about the Hill when I worked for the Sheriff’s Department and we used to come up here. Once a year, they used to do Pottstown cleanup day. So I used to come up here with my sheriff’s deputies from the Sheriff’s Department, we used to come up to help the kids from the Hill School go out to the community and help clean up,” Haas said. 

Also, Haas takes part in a life outside of when she is working with security. “I’m very active in sports. I like to play sports. I like to ski, bike, ride, run. I have a five-year-old that I’m raising. So spend a lot of time with him,” Haas said.  

Other than working as a team, being a part of the security team is very laborious. “Days are very busy, a lot of paperwork, a lot of putting out fires, as I call them, a lot of things pop up and you just have to deal with it on a day-to-day basis,” Haas explained.

Haas is very incorporated into the team values that it takes to run a security team. “My guys are good guys. They’re, you know, they’re on the ball. They care about the kids; they care about the school.”


The Hill school security team is a collection of hard workers who take pride in their job. The Security spotlight showed an insight into the behind-the-scenes at The Hill School.

To learn more about the administrative side of the security team, check out the podcast with the administrative coordinator, Jacqueline Steinman: