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Derek White ’77

Lotspeich in the 1960s and 70s was a major part of an idyllic childhood. The morning assemblies, the Pledge of Allegiance, the wisdom offered by Mr. Wuerfel, learning German before we could throw a baseball, May Fete, the “bench,” the Pavilion, and sledding down the hill were all experiences indelibly imprinted on my soul. From Annabelle serving up shepherd’s pie in the cafeteria, to Ms. Pritz letting me push the button to ring the dismissal bell, and Edgar cleaning up my mess after a bad stomach day … 50 years later I still remember every teacher and every support person because they all cared about me and my well-being.

I’ll never forget my first piano recital courtesy of Miss Corn. It was the most nervous I’ve ever been before (or since) in my life: forcing me out of my comfort zone to play a horrendous version of “Tarantella” in front of 100 of my friends. I was awful and had to start over three times, but I got through it. Suddenly, public speaking became no big deal!

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Robin “Robby” Garrett ’78

Seven Hills Student and Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee
(1975-78, 1999)

I arrived at Seven Hills as a member of the second class of boys admitted to the school in 1975. My two sisters attended Hillsdale as well. I came from a large family and was taught education was key to a good future. My mother was a big believer in Seven Hills, and, as a Cincinnati Public School teacher, she would recommend exceptional students to our school. I became all of their big brothers.

My first memory of Seven Hills was visiting the school and shooting baskets with former Athletic Director Duke Snyder outside. He seemed very impressed, and we were tight from there.

I had several great teachers while I was there and many had taught my sisters as well — Barbara Beaver, Mrs. Marrs, Neil Smith, and who can forget Carol Bristol and Bill Porter.

With the awesome role models, I excelled in academics and sports becoming captain of the soccer team and baseball team my senior year. This allowed me to be the first nominee to the Seven Hills Athletic Hall of Fame. Lots more to say but at another time.

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Brandon Hydrick ’92

Seven Hills Student, Member of the Alumni Board (1986-92, 2023–Present)

My introduction to the Seven Hills environment was during June of 1985 at the Seven Hills soccer camp. It was there that I met Aaron Berg, and we quickly became friends. I had a great time during soccer camp meeting other people. I lived around the corner from the Red Bank campus, so getting to camp was not a problem because I walked. I wasn’t a student of Seven Hills yet.

However, I ended up enrolled the following year, in the seventh grade, at The Seven Hills Middle School, which at the time was located on Madison Road. I was nervous my first day, but I knew Aaron Berg and it helped with my nerves. I continued to play soccer through Middle School. However, I had to stop playing when I started Seven Hills Upper School due to health reasons.

Starting at the Upper School on Red Bank Road was amazing. My freshman year they had started a music program — a class for choir. I admit at the beginning, I really didn’t want to be in that class; my mom put me in the class. I ended up growing to love it by the end of my freshman year. Christine Leachman-Yee was my teacher. My sophomore year, I auditioned for the male vocal group called Men of Note. I remained in that group until I graduated.

I took the skills I learned taking that class with me to college and after. I had discovered a passion for singing that  helped me through the years. I didn’t have a favorite teacher. So many of them stood out and helped me grow into the person I am. Susan Marrs, who was my college adviser at the time, always gave me words of wisdom. Duke allowed me to help the basketball team as their manager since I couldn’t play. I cherish so many memories of being a student here. From the trips the choir took, Harvest Fair, and the soccer/basketball games, I truly enjoyed my time there.

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Laura Leonard ’06

Seven Hills Student, Current Doherty Parent, Upper School Teacher and Dean of Students, and Member of the Alumni Board (1991-2006, 2021-Present)

One of my most impressionable years at Seven Hills was my first grade year at Doherty, as a part of Mrs. Wolfe’s class, coined the “Wolfe Pack”! It was those days of reciting poetry, circling up on the carpet for dramatic readings, and Mrs. Wolfe’s big hugs that inspired me to become a teacher.

Every day, I felt like Mrs. Wolfe was my champion, and I thought that with her support, there was nothing I couldn’t do. She made the classroom seem like the most wonderful place to be. I would come home after school to pretend-play school so that I could be like Mrs. Wolfe. I tried to create that same joyful, safe and inspiring community that she did for the Wolfe Pack. I am forever grateful to Mrs. Wolfe and all of my Doherty, Middle, and Upper School teachers, who continued to inspire me to become a better person and pursue the field of education.

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