Thank you Denis Hill / by Louisa Ulrich-Verderber

The “Owl on Doorknob Nest” is a little sculpture that I made as a gift to our high school principal  - Dennis Hill – for allowing me go through high school on a personal learning path that I proposed to him before my freshman year. Mr. Hill is leaving our school and I wasn’t quite sure that anyone thanked him properly for his MANY years of service to the BFA school community. He had been a student at BFA himself, then for many years he was the vice-principal in charge of discipline. He was AMAZING at that job, with a legendary special knack for reaching kids who were difficult rascals. I thought that even though Mr. Hill was leaving BFA (as one of the many casualties from our community’s problem with the Superintendent of Schools, who was eventually fired ) SOMEONE had to thank him for his great, long body of work on our behalf.  

The neat thing about this sculpture is that it is made from the doorknobs of BFA. I got a huge box of the knobs that had been saved in the basement of the school after all of them had to be changed out to comply with new “Accessibility” lever-type handles.  I think the doorknobs as represent “possibility” – one door closes and another door opens – and the many doors that open to various kinds of knowledge and insight. And even more special is the thought that his very hands could have opened those doorknobs as a teenager way back when. Cool!… 

Thank you Mr. Hill. You changed the entire trajectory of my life, and I promise to improve the trajectory of many others!