3rd form spotlight

Alyssa Diwale ’25

Upon her arrival on campus this fall, day student Alyssa Diwale ’25 has nothing but high hopes and immense excitement as she awaits unopened doors.

“Originally, I had heard of the school from its very prestigious reputation. I have also been made familiar with the Hill from friends and neighbors attending this school,” Diwale explained. “What makes the Hill School so unique is its diversity of the student population. Working and being able to meet with international students is amazing to me. It certainly is an attribute of the school that I would not have been able to find anywhere else.”

This school year, Diwale will be taking the dive into Hill’s wide selection of water sports, specifically water polo, swimming, and crew. Diwale will be making her mark in the Hill community by delving into groups and clubs such as Orchestra, the Women of Color Association, and the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council.

When asked about an opportunity that she is looking forward to exploring at Hill, Diwale turned to her future plans. “I am excited for the opportunity to try Engineering. This class sounds fun since it involves some subjects I love like math, science, and art. Although I am not taking it as a third former, I am planning on trying it out in a later year.”

Despite the next year being full of firsts and new experiences, Diwale is nothing short of optimistic. “I’ll say I am immensely excited for the upcoming year and the many adventures I will have,” Diwale stated. “At the same time, there is a mix of nervousness. Getting used to the campus and dealing with an academically challenging year is causing much of the stress for my third form year. Nevertheless, I am grateful for this opportunity.”

Yue Rena Zhang ’25

For many students from around the world this past year, the Hill School’s name found its way into their homes. Yue Rena Zhang ’25 is among the large group of international students from across the globe who will be joining the Hill family this year in Pottstown, Pa.

“Because my older sister is also currently a student at a U.S. high school, and also since I’ve been to many summer schools in the states a few years ago and thoroughly enjoyed every single one of them, I’d easily decided that I wanted to attend a U.S. high school,” Zhang stated. “I’ve heard many good reviews and comments on the Hill School from a friend of my mother’s, whose daughter had just graduated from the school, prior to my application process. Later on, I went on findingschool.com and looked through all the schools, including all their rankings and other important information. I selected a few, one of which was the Hill.”

When asked how she reached her decision to attend Hill, Zhang recalled how she knew Hill was the right choice for her: “Other than the great school infrastructure, I looked at the high school student-to-teacher ratio and knew that the Hill would provide us with many learning opportunities and excellent academic resources. I also saw all the positive reviews of the school as I was browsing through the internet, and read all about the great faculty, curricular/extracurricular activities, and student life on the Hill website. I even saw a video about student life at the Hill on YouTube; I thoroughly enjoyed it.”

Zhang added, “The Hill School is such a tight-knit and supportive community, just like a big family of unique, caring individuals from all around the world. I felt that the Hill School was the best fit for me; when I got my offers and saw that I had been accepted into the Hill, I was ecstatic and made my choice right away!”

Upon her arrival this fall, Zhang is looking forward to learning her way about campus, getting to meet her new friends, dormmates, and classmates, and exploring their cultural backgrounds. She is also thrilled to meet her advisor and to be taught by the teachers of Hill as she embarks on the next step in her academic and personal journey.

“I am a little nervous, but super excited,” Zhang said. “I know that it’s going to be a great year!”

Jaelen Toole ’25

Over the years, Hill has been home to generations of families, both currently enrolled and alumni. This story is much the same for the Toole family, who will be introducing Jaelen Toole ’25 into the Hill community as a third former this fall. Though he is familiar with Hill already due to his two older brothers, this month his personal Hill journey begins.

“I feel more so excited than nervous coming to Hill because I’ve known of the Hill for about eight years now, and actually being a student is very exciting,” Toole said. “I have heard great things through my brothers. I also felt like I fit in at the Hill through the academic and athletic challenges that I will face.”

For his third form year, Toole is excited to meet new people from all over the world, as well as to participate in a wide variety of sports, including soccer, basketball, and strength and conditioning. He is also interested in taking woodworking this year. “I have never done anything ever with wood, and I wanted to try something out of my comfort zone.”
Although Toole is preparing for his future at Hill, he mentioned his fascination with some of the school’s favorite traditions. “The main Hill tradition I have heard about is Lawrenceville weekend. Me personally, I think of Lawrenceville weekend as a time to bond as a school and have fun activities. Of course, we have to win L’Ville weekend!”

While his first year as a Hill student himself might bring about experiences both exciting and challenging, Toole is ready for these opportunities. “A new opportunity at Hill that I’m looking forward to is mainly becoming a better student and a better athlete.”