My View From The Hilltop – Zak Johnson

By Zak Johnson, Upper School Science Teacher

Zak Johnson


My roles on campus as science teacher, advisor, student leadership coordinator, baseball coach, residential administrator on duty, and Proctor advisor help me see all the different ways our students engage with life at WA. I’ve realized that a student’s growth and success is due, in large part, to the sum of their experiences and interactions here: that quick conversation on the way to class with their history teacher, the game of Spikeball on the Quad with friends, the guidance and feedback they receive from their coach at practice, and the deep conversations about life with their dorm parent. Being part of those interactions and seeing them happen every day makes me appreciate what we have here on the Hilltop. 

I’ve witnessed incredible personal growth in students over the last seven years. One specific moment comes to mind when I think of the culture here and how it encourages students to be who they are. At Diversity Day four years ago, the day ended with an open mic. One of my advisees built up the courage to walk up to the mic and proclaim a part of her identity and how much that day—workshops, presentations, and exercises focused on diversity and inclusion—meant to her. I remember where people were sitting, hearing her footsteps as she walked up to the mic from the far end of the gym, and the tremendous round of applause that followed her act of bravery and public ownership of her identity. That moment will stick in my mind for a very long time, if not forever, because it ‘s an example of how awesome our community is and the opportunity our community offers for personal growth. 

See you on the Quad! 

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