After six years assisting both the admissions department and financial aid students, Mrs. Hacker is leaving Belmont Hill to care for her two sons. Many of the younger students may not know her as well, as she has not been in the classroom for three years; however, she has helped many students over her tenure, whether as a teacher, advisor, coach, or the Director of Financial Aid.
Once she graduated from Williams College in the early 2000’s, Mrs. Hacker worked at Deerfield for a few years, where she honed her skills in admissions. She then transitioned to Milton Academy, where she coached the girls’ varsity lacrosse team. As a former college athlete, Mrs. Hacker took pride in her ability to impart her knowledge of the game, and the team found great success. After both enrolling in the Harvard Graduate School of Education and meeting her future husband, she began her current occupation: a member of Belmont Hill’s faculty. Mrs. Hacker did not join varsity lacrosse’s Mr. Sullivan, a Williams alumnus himself, on the sidelines due to the differences between the two sports, but she handled a taxing schedule nonetheless, teaching tenth grade English, advising, and coaching Middle School lacrosse and soccer superbly. Mrs. Hacker noticed the healthy student-teacher relationships on her first day, and she believes that aspect creates a unique school environment; she relished the opportunity to foster meaningful bonds with each student, a task much harder at a larger school like Milton. Indeed, many of her former advisees, such as Gavin Colbert ‘18 and Nick Carroll ‘18, remember their time with her fondly, a testament to her effectiveness.
Mrs. Hacker assumed a reduced role when her first son was born; beginning in the fall of 2015, she no longer taught but instead focused on other elements of the School. She aided financial aid students tremendously, introducing innovative ideas such as free tuxedos for prom; furthermore, she sifted through hundreds of applications, conducted dozens of interviews, and helped prospective families understand the fine print of the financial aid forms. Although she could not engage in daily interactions as often, she remained an integral part of school life for many boys.
With the arrival of her second son, Mrs. Hacker decided to leave the workforce to spend time with her family. While her career can be put on hold, she reasons, her sons will not be small forever. To keep her mind occupied, she will continue to participate in various boards, such as her former summer camp’s and her sons’ schools’. Just as Mrs. O’Connor, yet another Williams graduate, did this past year, Mrs. Hacker may return to Belmont Hill eventually when her sons find more independence. She plans on a reappearance at some educational facility, even if not Belmont Hill; for instance, Steppingstone, an urban program which prepares less fortunate students, has expressed interest in her services, where she would become an instant asset. Obviously, Belmont Hill has massive shoes to fill to replace her, but we hope Mrs. Hacker both enjoys her well-deserved break and visits as much as possible!