(source: sbcusd.com)

S. E. Williams

When news reached members of the inland region regarding the passing of community leader and education icon, Dr. Margaret Hill, the unexpected loss left the community with heavy hearts.

A respected leader and longtime San Bernardino City Unified School (SBCUSD) board member, Hill passed away on Sunday, Dec. 19.

Many in the community learned of her passing from a Tweet posted by SBCUSD officials that read, “Thank you Dr. Margaret Hill for leading with love. We will never forget you. Rest In Peace.”

Those within SBCUSD were among the first to react to the loss on Twitter. Dr. Veronica Kelley wrote, “Dr. Hill’s impact will be felt for eternity in our local communities.”

“It is difficult to say the City of San Bernardino without saying Dr. Margaret Hill. Rest in peace,” wrote Spencer L. Brown, ‘Rest in Peace’ you will be missed.”

A current member of the SBCUSD Board, Dr. Hill was also a past president (2015 to 2017). Described by SBCUSD as a passionate advocate for children and a dedicated educational leader, she served passionately and faithfully from the time she was first elected to the position in 2011.

”Dr. Hill was loved for her warm heart and frequently encouraged educators to motivate kids with ’more hugs than tugs’.” said Board President Dr. Scott Wyatt. “We are better because she led with strength, love and compassion for everyone. We will miss her every day.”

Hill began her career in education as a teacher in 1971 and retired in 2003 after serving 16 years as the principal of San Andreas High School.

Loved for her warm heart, Dr. Margaret Hill frequently encouraged educators to motivate kids with ’more hugs than tugs’ (source: sbcusd.com).

She returned to work at the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools office in 2006, where she was assistant superintendent of Administrative Services until her second retirement July 2, 2012, before assuming her board position with SBCUSD.

Hardy Brown Sr., Publisher Emeritus of the Black Voice News, commenting on the loss of his longtime friend wrote, “Dr. Margaret Hill’s legacy of being a “mother” to every student she came in touch with is an example for all of us to follow. She would go to students’ home, and carry them in her car if they needed to get to school,” he offered, adding, “I know this from being a school board member and hearing students say these things about her.”

Brown continued, “She had that kind of heart and love for people. She believed that all students could achieve in a caring and loving environment, and she set that example as an educator.”

According to Brown, Hill demonstrated how to be a courageous fighter for social justice, while living with her own personal battle with cancer. “Her presence will truly be missed but her works, and voice will live on for generations to emulate. I am happy to have known her and have her as a dear friend. I am still trying to wrap my mind around her being gone. . . “

In 2019, SBCUSD honored Dr. Hill by naming its boardroom the Dr. Margaret Hill Community Room.  

“Dr. Hill’s tireless, kind and cheerful presence made her arguably the most admired leader in San Bernardino and among the greats statewide throughout the education community,” said SBCUSD Superintendent Doc Ervin. “She inspired me, and I am thankful to have worked with her here.”

Details regarding Dr. Hill’s memorial service are pending.

S.E. Williams

Stephanie E. Williams is an award winning investigative reporter, editor and activist who has contributed to several Inland Empire publications. Williams spent more than thirty years as a middle-manager in the telecommunications industry before retiring to pursue her passion as a reporter and non-fiction writer. Beyond writing, Williams’ personal interests include stone-carving, drumming and sculpting.