SPOTLIGHT – AUSTIN HILL

SPOTLIGHT – AUSTIN HILL

The first Spotlight of term shines on Austin Hill our new Head of Mathematics.

Austin moved to the West Country at the age of 10 to the quaint market town of Devizes, where he spent his formative years at Devizes School. After completing his A Levels, he moved to Paris, France volunteering for a charity for a couple of years. Upon returning to England, Austin started an undergraduate degree at Oxford Brookes University reading Mathematics and French Studies and then a PGCE at the University of Reading. Before starting his first teaching job at a Reading comprehensive, he married Lizzcy, who had moved to the UK from Peru. After 2 years of working in the state sector, he decided to try his hand in a boarding school environment and moved to Bradfield College in Berkshire. Here, he found his love of education and pastoral care and soon moved on to become Head of Mathematics at Pangbourne College. Having grown up close to Warminster School, the opportunity to teach at Warminster has always been a dream of Austin's.

How long have you worked at Warminster?

Since January 2017.

What’s the best thing about your role?

Having such a capable and reliable department.

Describe a typical day?

Every day is so different, that's what makes teaching at Warminster so rewarding.

What do you think makes Warminster a special place to live and learn?

Warminster is by far the happiest and most rewarding school I have worked at. I teach fantastic pupils and work with hard-working and kind colleagues. I love being part of the Warminster community, something that drew me to the school in the first place – I enjoy coaching netball and life would not be the same without my involvement in The Old Vic boarding house. It's a special privilege to contribute to pupils' lives outside of the classroom.

What would surprise us about you?

I omitted the fact that I worked at Disneyland Paris as Captain Jack Sparrow for a year!

That is surprising and sounds a great deal of fun. We love interesting and transferable skills at Warminster! What did you learn from your time at Disney – was there more to it than processions and waving?

You might think the magic would wear off being on the other side of all the processions – but it is well and truly there wherever you are. I learned the value of hard work and selflessness; I had to put the guests first at all times so they could have a great experience.

The most surreal part about working at Disneyland was backstage. Many of the characters took breaks in their costumes, I never got used to seeing Cinderella eating a baguette or Aladdin drinking a can of Coke! I also lived with the Little Mermaid…

What other Warminster role would you like to try for a day and why?

I would love to teach French for a day in the Prep School. My family have often commented on how I would enjoy being a Prep School teacher – all you need to do is come and see my classroom!

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I was blinkered – I wanted to become an architect… right up until I found out about the 7 years at university.

What did your school reports say about you?

I have an actual excerpt from my Year 10 report “Austin is a very able mathematician, but is far too lazy”.  I'm glad to say times have changed since 1999!

Your note/advice to teenage self?

Just keep on working, your secondary education is worth far more than you think.

Your mantra/motto or favourite quote?

“Be the change you wish to see in the world”.

Hidden ambitions still to achieve?

Grade 8 pianist.

A favourite possession you would you save from a fire?

My lovely labradoodle, Odie.

Biggest bugbear?

Little noises that appear in your car that you can't for the life of you find!

Favourite musician/group?

Regina Spektor / Maroon 5.

Guilty pleasure?

Pokémon GO and watching Teen Wolf.

Signature dish if you were on MasterChef?

Tuna steak with mango salsa.

Favourite TV programme?

Doctor Who.

Last book you read?

The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling.

Last movie watched?

The Matrix Revolutions.

Which actor would play you in a movie about your life?

Bruce Willis. I once heard he was the best looking bald actor around and think that would suit me just fine!

Favourite tipple?

None – I am teetotal.

Favorite place/city in the world and why?

Paris, France – It is where I found myself.

Twitter or Facebook?

Facebook for sure – how else would I send silly stickers to my wife? There should also be an option for Instagram. Warminster is so beautiful, full of amazing photo opportunities that I now Instagram all that is fantastic at Warminster – @warminsterschool.