Photo by by Manuel Mata-Flores’19 | Brophy’s band practicing during class homing in on their skills as band players as Mrs. McKim-Hill directs them. Aug. 24 in Eller Band room.
By Reid Shniderman ’20
Brophy tends to have new teachers, both short-term and long-term, come in every year. For teachers like Mrs. Lisa McKim-Hill, the first few months at Brophy have been an amazing experience.
Mrs. Hill has now taught for 25 years. She previously taught at a school in the Mojave Desert, and was the Music Director at California City High School. “[Brophy] intrigued me as far as what you believe in: your philosophy, who you are and what you stand for,” Mrs. Hill stated.
“It’s pretty phenomenal. When I heard there was a job opening here, I was encouraged to apply for a few reasons. One is that our family can be together if I was willing to take a job in Arizona instead of California, but because I’ve taught for over twenty years, I wasn’t interested in taking just any band job.”
She talked about how Brophy interested her over other schools, and said that the philosophies and ideals were what made Brophy so amazing. “I wanted to find out more about this school, and the best way to find out more is to interview and meet new people,” Mrs. Hill said,
“I’m very excited to be here; the students have a lot of potential and musical aptitude. The sky is the limit with the high schoolers here, and that’s very exciting for me. There’s an energy that they give back to me, and that encourages me to give energy forward. I’m not very bored here, I’ll tell you that.”
Mrs. Hill is a graduate of California State University, Long Beach and earned a Bachelor of Arts in music there. Another alma mater of hers is California State University, Sacramento, where she received a Master of Music in instrumental conducting. She’s known for her teaching, directing and conducting experiences in Brophy’s band program, as well as experience with community and professional organizations throughout California.
Mrs. Hill’s first career was being a musical therapist, and she spent around a decade working with students and adults with special needs. Being a professional flutist, as well, Mrs. Hill specializes in wind ensemble, and has taught many other band classes in the past, such as marching band and jazz band.
“I’ve worked at many schools from large to small,” Mrs. Hill states. “And I hope to bring some of the teachings I had from there to Brophy, in a sense. Music is a part of being human, and I think teaching students how to play well and with excellence enables them to become better human beings, for themselves and with each other. I think I’m here to point students in that direction more than they’ve had already, and to just fly with it, not just musically, but personally.”