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In Memory

Nancy Lee Hill


Nancy Lee Hill, a DoDDS Teacher of the Year, was a proud Virginian who started her DoDDS teaching career in 1972 at Seoul American High School as a math teacher. Nancy was a teacher with great intellectual curiousity and had a rich and varied teaching career. While teaching in Virginia, she founded the Grymes Memorial School and was an exchange teacher in England during the summers of 1967 – 71. In addition to teaching math at Seoul High School, she also taught math classes for the University of Maryland. In 1989 Nancy left Seoul and retired to Morgantown, NC. She is remembered for the high academic standards she set for her students and the dedication and determination she displayed in helping each student reach his potential. She was talented, classy and adventuresome – one who loved and lived life to the fullest.


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05/12/11 11:46 PM #1    

Josh Young (1990)

A first-class math teacher who I still remember fondly 25 years later.

01/07/12 06:08 PM #2    

Shannon Wagner (1989)

She was the hardest math teacher ever!  But, because of her, I made it through calculus.  

06/03/21 11:34 AM #3    

Jym McMurdo (1987)

It looks like Ms. Hill passed in 1992. Here is information that I found: https://aoshs.org/memorials/kiosk/nancy-lee-hill/

06/03/21 05:09 PM #4    

Nancy McDermott (1981)

I just adored Mrs. Hill. She helped me realize I *am* actually good at math. Her faith made all the difference. I still think of her and smile. 

06/04/21 04:56 AM #5    

Gil Mueller

Here is what I wrote in Dec. 1992 as sponsor of the SAHS Express

Headline:  Nancy Lee Hill, Math Teacher, July 1922 – December 1992


Nancy Lee Hill is something special.  She died Dec. 8, 1992, but past tense verbs seem wrong to describe someone who always looked forward to everything.


A physics major who as a success in industry, she founded her own school before joining SAHS where she said, “I like everything I do, or I wouldn’t be doing it.”  That showed in her every graceful movement – all the way to the White House where she was once honored for her teaching in DoDDS.  She taught in huts amongst the dust and the cobwebs attired in silks and priceless jewelry.


She was ever elegant, but more importantly she made math as vital as she was.  She taught them all, the lowest math classes to the most complex, and she taught them as only she could.


Nancy Lee really didn’t have to teach. She was comfortably well off, but chose to live in a cramped BOQ, sharing it for many years with Doberman named Count.  They made quite a pair jogging around the base - her long stride matched by the Count’s lope. She once told me her only regret about not living on her horse farm was that Count didn’t have quite as much room to run as he might have.


But the Count never complained and neither did Nancy Lee – even in 1987 when she learned she had cancer.


She had an important post in the Olympics, and she was determined to see it through.  She did and then some.  When the Olympics closed, she was given special acknowledgment by the Seoul Olympic Committee; she was the only Westerner so honored.


We thought she would leave when the Olympic torch was extinguished.  Most of us would have sought the comfort of family, home and the superb medical treatment that awaited her.  Nancy Lee Hill was not most people.  She finished out the year, often in pain, but more often in smile, with grace, wit and optimism.


She left in June, 1989.   She was seen off by a large crowd that included generals, Olympic officials, captains of Korean industry, and the one she loved most, a bunch of students and teachers from SAHS.


Defying the odds, the pains and the doctors, Nancy Lee continued an active and vigorous life. Her hospitalized stays were more frequent, but it took more than pernicious cells to quell her spirit.


In 1990 she returned to Korea a art of an around-the-world trip.  There were more than a few social engagements then.  She charmed the company – those of us who never thought we’d see her again and those who were fortunate to meet her for the first time.


As she left Korea for the final time, she said goodbye in a soft voice with vowels as rounded as her beloved Virginia hills.  She had given all of us the best part of two decades and never once looked back.  Because this trim, elegant lady was larger than life, all of us who knew her stand a little taller.

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