Westlake Alums Vote to Honor a Favorite Teacher!

Who is that one teacher you will never forget? For many Westlake High grads, that teacher is Thomas F. Hill, the longtime Band and Choir Director who taught so many life lessons through music. A campaign has been launched by a group of Westlake High alums who want to see the high school’s Performing Arts Center re-named in honor of the beloved Tom Hill, now 83 years old. This petition drive asks Westlake City schools and the City of Westlake to rename the new Performing Arts Center the “Thomas Floyd (T.F.) Hill Performing Arts Center”, commemorating all of Mr. Hill’s years of dedicated service, teaching and excellence. “As this is Westlake’s Bicentennial year, it seems fitting and right to approach the administrations
to move forward on this matter. There is scheduled a large, gala performance at the Center in November, 2011, which would be a fantastic time to have the honorary ceremony, if approved,” report the alums
on their website, www.whsalumni.wordpress.com. When you visit the site, you are asked to “virtually-sign” and “like” this petition through your Facebook account. Lots of Mr. Hill’s former students have already lodged their support for Hill. They have composed brief narratives of how T.F. Hill influenced so many
students love of music and abilities.
“Choir, chamber choir, singing lessons, concert band, pep band, marching band, performances, competitions – seems I spent most of high school in that music room…. Mr Hill was an inspiration,” says one writer. “I remember sitting down in music theory class and he played a chord on the piano and asked us what chord it was. We had no idea. He said by the end of his class we would know and that we would be able to take a piece of music and arrange it for every instrument in an orchestra. By God he was right. It still amazes me,” notes another.
T.F. Hill first came to Westlake Schools in 1957 as a music instructor and
Band Director. He basically invented the Music programs for Westlake Schools as years passed. His roles grew to encompass Choir Director and eventually Music Director for all music programming for the high school, and all music education and performance-based curriculum throughout the school district. During decades when Westlake did not have a large tax base or funding, he strove and achieved “excellence”. Wikipedia even features Hill’s groundbreaking curriculum and states
“The Westlake High School music program has been consistently ranked as one of the top music programs in the state of Ohio.” Hill also authored Westlake’s Fight Song “Stand up and Cheer”, and Alma Mater. His legacy also carries on annually in the spring; the day long “Music Ala Mode” concert festival featuring performances from all grades, which he and Music Boosters instituted nearly 40 years ago. He retired in 1986. In 1994, he was one of only 4 people awarded the distinction in the Honorary Alumni Hall of Fame. Today, he is 83 years old and living in Bay Village.
“T.F. Hill pushed and implemented music programming we never would have had in Westlake were it not for his unswerving commitment and passion. Under his tutelage and guidance, Westlake students consistently won the highest marks possible at Ohio’s ‘Solo and Ensemble’ competition, and walked away with a plethora of awards. His passion was music and music education.
His door was always open to a student and he gave of his time freely to any who wished to better hone their artistic craft. It is time he is rewarded, properly remembered and honored for his unselfish and undying commitment to Westlake students throughout all those years of service,” say the petitioning alums. Please visit the website www.TheVillagerNewspaper.com for a Facebook link to this virtual petition. All you have to do is click on “will attend” to virtually sign the petition (you don’t have to “attend” anything – that is just the way you sign the petition!) Or you can visit the website at www.whsalumni.wordpress.com to learn more.

Please follow and like us: