Alumni Spotlight – Mimi Ackleh
On my first day of second grade at Killian Hill, I doubt that I imagined the effects my parents’ choice of school would have on me. Now, reflecting on my eleven years at KHCS brings to mind several important aspects of that choice, such as the quality of the education I received or the opportunities I had for extracurricular involvement. However, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge that those and other positive parts of my experience only existed due to the daily commitment of capable and godly faculty members. The presence of such individuals at Killian Hill is one of the main reasons I will always be thankful for this school.
Upon enrolling at the University of Georgia three years ago, I knew that I eventually wanted to be a physician. I’m grateful to the teachers at Killian Hill for preparing me to work toward the goal of medical school as well as explore other academic interests in college. By setting high expectations in class and teaching with care, Killian Hill faculty members stretch students’ abilities and encourage the pursuit of diligence in learning. Because my teachers in high school intentionally challenged me, I was forced early on to develop reliable study habits–proper foundations for the new demands of university courses.
The teachers at Killian Hill are commendable not only for their ability to prepare students for college but also for their competence and character. Mrs. Martin would constantly demonstrate patience as she explained mathematical concepts, Mr. Allan would humbly use his great knowledge to point his science lessons to God, and Mr. Sherman would teach and preach to inform, convict, and encourage. I can go on: fourth grade Georgia history became fun and relevant in the hands of sweet Miss Cordell. Mr. Dawson was a special source of guidance while I made college decisions. Mrs. Williams interacted with everyone with a gentle and kind spirit. The faculty who washed our feet at senior camp showed a degree of humility that still amazes me. It’s possible to continue speaking in this way about every teacher, but at this point it will suffice to say that I hold each of them in high regard. They remain some of the most nurturing and kind people I have ever known, and I’m touched by the support and well-wishes they still express when I see them.
Four teachers invested in my growth in ways that were particularly important to me, and in doing so they came to have a special influence in my life. Mrs. Evens continually counseled and encouraged me, and she gave freely of her time on many occasions to help me grow as a music student. Radiating grace and compassion every time I saw him, Mr. Hilliard was an incredible example of the nature and love of Christ. Mr. Totten’s English classes were a treasure in every respect, and he affected me greatly by sharing wisdom and showing empathy every time we interacted. Mrs. Fulbright led me to discover my love for speech and drama, and even more valuable than her coaching was her selflessly inspiring, Christ-centered mentorship. I think often of the traits these teachers exemplify, and I hope one day to be able to imitate them in my personal and professional relationships.
The individuals at Killian Hill teach to high standards while showing their students genuine care. I believe they are the reason why the school’s academic, athletic, leadership and fine arts programs shine and why its environment is such a positive one. These qualities of KHCS become even more important to me when I consider that my younger sister is in her seventh year there. This fall she will start high school, and I am immensely excited to watch her continue to learn and excel under the guidance of the passionate educators that make Killian Hill so special.