Ten Questions: Meet New ES Head Theresa Cullen Hill
Posted 03/26/2015 04:00PM

Theresa Cullen HillWhat are three things you are looking forward to in your new role?
I look forward to getting to know the students and teachers. I am eager to learn the workings of the elementary program. I also look forward to being a role model in the TASIS community.  

How about a few things you’re looking forward to doing once you move to Lugano?
First, I am looking forward to showing my family Lugano and its environs. I hope to travel south to Parma, Italy, where I once lived as a child, as I would like to show my children this beautiful city. As the weather gets colder and snow begins to fall, I look forward to skiing.

Tell us why you enjoy working with elementary-aged children.
The joy, spirit and laughter of elementary-aged children is contagious. I enjoy watching the growth and development of children this age, particularly the acquisition of language, as it comes so quickly.  

What is appealing about working at an international school, and an American one in particular?
International schools are very special places. I enjoy working with so many different students and teachers from different parts of the world. The American aspect deals more with how we approach curriculum and some of the programs we use. The international part means we add our own flare to the curriculum so it suits our school and our students.

Could you sum up your educational philosophy, or what drives your work, in a few sentences?
My career has been shaped by a belief in the innate drive in every child to learn and the potential in every child to excel. I entered teaching because I loved working with young adults and children. I was a swimming instructor and swim team coach for most of my high school and college years, and it was this experience of encouraging, supporting, and watching these young swimmers blossom and grow that led me to pursue teaching. I knew I wanted to work with young people.  I had the passion and desire to become a teacher.

Obviously you are aware of how much Mrs. Fleming’s spirit and philosophy resonates at TASIS. How do you feel your educational philosophy/drive connects with Mrs. Fleming’s?  
From what I have read, Mrs. Fleming was a very passionate and driven person. Her passion for learning is evident.  I feel I have similar qualities and hope to continue her legacy leading the elementary division.

Can you name a few of the challenges you’re looking forward to facing?
My first challenge will be to learn everyone’s name. My next challenge will be to speak and understand Italian and perhaps my third challenge will be to find  the different buildings of the elementary school. I look forward to that exercise! 

What is your favorite kind of pizza?
Margherita pizza - and I am so looking forward to it. I was told there is a great place called Pizzeria Mary’s in Lugano. 

How about gelato?
Stracciatella - yummy! 

Anything else you’d like us to know about you and your family?
Our family is very excited about the move to Switzerland. Eloise will be in the elementary school’s Italian Section and Thomas will  enter middle school. Eloise and Thomas are dual citizens like many students at TASIS. They have a passport from the United States and Australia. Thomas was born in the Netherlands. Their father, Marcus, is originally from Australia. Our dog, Smoke, will also accompany us. He is an Aussiedoodle, an Australian shepherd mixed with poodle. 

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