Human of HHS

Drew Rancatore, freshman
“I enjoy being in the high school. Although it is crowded, big, and at times overwhelming, there is a larger sense of independence. Currently, I’m a part of the golf team. I’m also planning on trying out for the basketball team in the winter and the baseball team in the spring. I love playing sports, and the sense of being on a team is something that has helped make the transition from middle school to high school easier. It’s also a great way to represent the Hillers and stay in shape.”



Alexandra Lee, sophomore
“In seventh grade I wasn’t really into any sports, but my sister and dad were both runners, so I decided to sign up for the middle school team and continued into high school. Although I love the cross country team, I’ve never been the biggest fan of the actual running and racing. I could never get past the pain you feel in order for me to truly love running. However I got unexpected news in October. I found out that I had to get heart surgery, which forced me to stop running for almost my entire cross country season. I realized that when I wasn’t allowed to run, it made me miss the feeling of finishing a race or a hard practice, and it made me miss being able to go out for a jog whenever I wanted. Now, it’s easy for me to get past the pain of running and truly love the sport. Overall, I’m just thankful that I’m able to run.”


Yuka Ichikawa, junior
“I really wanted to study abroad and stay in the U.S. and finally my dream came true. I came as a goodwill ambassador as a Japanese student. I want to spread Japanese culture more and more. I went to a Japanese restaurant recently, but it wasn’t a real Japanese restaurant, it is American Japanese restaurant. I think some people think Japanese food is sushi, but in Japan we really don’t eat sushi often.”


Mercedes Lahaie, senior
“I have had many medical challenges throughout my life including a tumor in my neck, a fractured vertebrae, and double hip surgeries this past summer. I believe that each event that has happened has made me thankful for the things I have and taught me to not take anything for granted. It also grew my passion about family and overall making the best of everything. I always try and make time for family because they are the most important people in your life. My brother is my best friend, and I don’t go a day without talking with him. And even if something isn’t going the way you may have planned, you can turn it into something memorable if you put a little positive energy into it.”


Kathy, kitchen staff
“My children went to the high school, and you know it was really just a mother’s nature to want to be with her kids. Before, I was a stay at home mom, and when they entered the high school, I applied for the job. I stayed here after my kids graduated because I really enjoy the students here and having the summers off. I’ve been working for 30 years, my daughter is 44 years old now. It’s crazy how time flies, it doesn’t feel like I’ve been here for so long, but I think that says something about how much I like it here.”


Hope, Owner of Bittersweet Co.
“I always knew I wanted to open my own business as soon as I graduated from high school, I was just never sure what I wanted it to be. Once I opened my business, I faced many challenges, but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger I suppose. I mean look at me, I’m girl who went to art school and read a 750-page how-to-run-a-business textbook. Now it’s almost year three of a little brick and mortar shop. I think the biggest takeaway I have from all of this is even when your dreams seem unattainable, stick with them, if the hard work and passion are there, you can succeed.”