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William Hill Named 2022 Durham Public Schools Teacher of the Year



“For me, the best thing about being a teacher is the ongoing opportunity I have to form relationships with our school community, including parents, families, and especially my students. My goal as a teacher is to create an environment where my students feel seen and valued as individuals so they feel engaged and empowered as learners.”

-- William Hill/Little River K-8 School/ELA/Social Studies


William Hill is a North Carolina Central University graduate who is demonstrating how eagles fly. He graduated cum laude with a BA in middle grades education with concentrations in English Language Arts and Social Studies; he is licensed by Duke University as an Academically/Intellectually Gifted teacher; and, he has earned the Teacher Advocacy in Gifted Education Award from Duke University’s Program in Education for teachers. The Durham native and DPS alumnus is immersed in showing that flight pattern with his students and peers alike, giving back what was sown into him.

“I was molded by great teachers and educational professionals at Y.E. Smith and Morehead Montessori elementary schools, and I am a proud graduate of Josephine Dobbs Clement Early College High School,” says Hill, who has been teaching for six years.

Those influences have shaped how he serves his students and how he wants them to feel under his tutelage.

“My first priority is to create a safe classroom environment wherein my students feel comfortable being vulnerable, feel seen as people, and feel connected to a trusted adult. That vulnerability lends itself to the willingness to take risks and do challenging things; the visibility to the understanding that their ideas have value; and, the connection to the safety to express needs and have them met. Once these elements are in place, learning can begin,” says Hill.

Hill likens his classroom to a chorus– all voices need to be heard in order to have real engagement. And he believes in the same alignment between home and school.

“”WeAreDPS” and #SomosDPS” must truly mean that all of us– teachers, students, school staff, and parents– are working alongside one another to achieve desired outcomes for our students…I believe that when students sense that the adults in their lives– at school and at home– are united in their value of education, their own motivation to learn and grow will be bolstered.”