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The Eyes Behind The Camera

My name is Jami Wilhelm. I have a wonderful husband named Matt, three children that have my whole heart, and a big, fluffy puppy named Giannis. Yes, our six month old, Goldendoodle of a puppy just discovered our kitchen table. We're working on it ;)

Our family made a big change at the end of June to move to Madison from Stevens Point, WI. What made this change feel so big was that it was the place where our family grew into what it is. What started out as a young dating couple became a marriage of 8 years and three children. Our community there was not one that we took for granted and our oldest was heading into Kindergarten to a fantastic school only 100 feet away from our house. Like most of the country, the pandemic gave space for our family to reflect and re-evaluate different parts of our lives. That processing showed us it was time to make a change. That change brought our family to Madison.

The area of Madison was familiar to me and my husband as we lived here eleven years ago, but Madison with kids felt very unfamiliar and somewhat nerve-wracking especially with our oldest heading into Kindergarten and the not-so-buyer-friendly housing market. To wrap up a long journey into a few sentences, our house ended up being a mile away from a school that I not only ended up working at but also a place where my children are happy and proud to be a part of every single day.

My role at Hickory Hill Academy is the Marketing Director. I have been learning the ins and outs of the school, its vision and mission, and sharing that vision in different strategic ways. In any new role, there's always a learning curve; but what I haven't expected is the moments of complete awe. Even writing this, I can't explain the feeling with one word. It's a mix of awe, thankfulness, humbleness, and maybe even healing. The pandemic time was not an easy one for many occupations - including the education world. For me to have a job that affords a deep dive into the teachers, school leadership, and families about the vision of Cultivating Compassionate Leaders and then seeing first hand how that is playing out in the classrooms and educational programs at HHA...simply, wow - it couldn't give me a better understanding and experience as to what this school really is.

Today was the first snow fall, and while the 10 acre campus became an incredible winter wonderland, there was something more beautiful that I was able to capture today. It was the joy of just being a kid and loving school. Recess was outside in the fresh, snowy air and teams of students were building forts and rolling big snowmen.

Friends were laughing and being penguins sliding down the hill. The best game of snow kickball was held and both teachers and students were smiling ear to ear.

There was a special twinkle in the eyes of some experiencing the snow for the first time and teachers shared in that joy with them!

I write this blog to share and write in the most genuine way - Hickory Hill Academy is a special place with really special people. I'm humbled to be a part of its story, and incredibly thankful to have our children be with teachers who are kind and compassionate people; to work alongside these individuals is a joy. Today marked a very special day for me at HHA, and I'm expecting many more in the days to come.

If you're not familiar with HHA, I encourage you to click here to inquire or visit our website to learn more about what makes this place what it is.


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