Craig Hill has found that building positive relationships, providing consistent and honest feedback and modeling compassion leads to a “chill” environment.

People often make the “chill” connection because his email address at St. Francis Xavier School in Winooski begins with his first initial and his last name: chill.

“I’ve learned people like to know what to expect and when to expect, and setting positive expectations leads to a positive environment,” said the newly named principal of the school, currently a teacher there. “I’ve also found that people appreciate my level of devotion to our mission.”

Hill has been selected to succeed the current principal, Eric Becker, effective June 12.

Hill earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Gwynedd-Mercy University. He has 15 years of teaching experience at the elementary, middle and high school levels.

He worked in an alternative school for seven years in Philadelphia before moving to Vermont in 2012. In the alternative school, he taught students who were experiencing drug addiction, unsafe family experiences and trauma. “That experience deepened my understanding of Christ’s mission of love and forgiveness,” he said. “I learned that with patience, compassion, consistency and honesty all students can learn, particularly if someone believes in them.”

As principal, Hill will focus on implementing and following the school mission: “We are a Catholic school. Our mission is to educate the whole person in light of the Catholic faith and lead students to an authentic relationship with Jesus Christ. We provide a comprehensive preschool through 8th-grade educational program that promotes Christian values, academic excellence and personal responsibility in a safe, structured and Christ-centered environment.”

—Originally published in the Summer 2021 issue of Vermont Catholic magazine.