Belmont Hill School is an outstanding institution that garners a sterling reputation for academics, arts, and athletics. For many burgeoning prospective students, our school is on the top of their lists. Furthermore, many students experience a real brotherhood at school, one that connects and bonds classmates for the rest of their lives. But is it the same for faculty and staff? Is Belmont Hill a quality workplace conducive to a supportive community not just for faculty but also for the staff working here? I decided to find out.
Tasked with great responsibility as the Dean of Faculty, Mr. Armstrong is entrusted with nurturing the lifeblood of the school: its teachers. Since all new faculty must first pass through his office, I was interested in hearing his take on aspiring Belmont Hill teachers as well as the current Belmont Hill teaching community: “As faculty members, we are treated very well. We love being here, it is a great place to work our craft as teachers everyday. I take a lot of pride in being a faculty member at Belmont Hill; that’s what I consider myself first and foremost.”
Mr. Murphy, who runs the Annual Giving program among faculty members, has been successful with 100% of teachers giving back to the school annually, demonstrating that as Mr. Murphy said, “We all clearly believe in the school and its mission.” Similarly, Mr. Armstrong added that the 100% giving is “a reflection of Dr. Melvoin and how much we believe in his leadership and a reflection of how much we believe in the school and the boys.” Interestingly enough, I heard this same sentiment about connecting with students from one of the youngest faculty members, Ms. Vailas. She underscored, as one of her favorite aspects of being a faculty member, the opportunity to connect with her students and the athletes on her teams, “I’ve really loved getting to know the boys, specifically the athletes on my teams. I really enjoy the time I spend with them, my runs in the afternoon are some of the best hours of my day.”
Next, I wanted to hear from a so-called “lifer” at Belmont Hill, the esteemed and hilarious Mr. Sherman, to find out what has compelled him to stay on the Hill for the past forty-five years: “I have a lovely space in which to work here…but more importantly, I’ve been blessed with wonderful colleagues, and of course terrific students who certainly make it all worthwhile. When I was younger, one of my wise friends told me, ‘Oh, you are absolutely going to be a lifer at Belmont Hill’ and after all these years I have been very stimulated and happy working here. It’s been a happy marriage.”
Not only is the Belmont Hill environment molded by teachers, but also by the staff who work diligently to maintain the campus from the Library to the playing fields. I spoke with the very friendly and hard-working Evi Tejada, who cleans the library and lunchroom in the afternoons. We held our conversation in Spanish as she spoke graciously and enthusiastically about the teachers and students who, for the past seventeen years, have made this community feel like a family: “[translated] I love working at Belmont Hill. When I applied to work, I thought I would work here for only a couple of months, but later I discovered how great the school was. The teachers and students were always so friendly, always asking how I was doing, how my family was. It became a very special place for me. I feel very grateful to not only be at this school but also in this country and for the opportunities that both have provided. I am very happy and thankful.”
Indeed the underlying theme of community and connection exists not only for the faculty but also for the staff here on the Hill. Therefore, if in your future you happen to be a recently graduated alum looking for a place to work with a strong community feel, look no farther than from whence you came.