Carl Hill

Dieringer School District Superintendent and Teacher 1967-1986
Dieringer Education Foundation Hall of Fame

Carl Hill was born October 25, 1931, in Logan, Utah.  He was the youngest of eight children born to Dr. Reuben L. Hill and Mary Theresa Snow Hill.  He was a surprise and his sisters claim that they suggested he be named “Disappointment” (sisters can be cruel that way).   His father was head of the chemistry department at Utah Agricultural College, which is now Utah State University.  

Carl was an entrepreneur as a boy.  He would buy newspapers and then sell them to soldiers attending the college.  He and his older brother, Ed, raised a cow. Carl would milk it and Ed would sell the milk.  Carl later bought a shoeshine business, which didn’t turn out as well.

Carl did not enjoy school and struggled when he was young.  He was large for his age and excelled in football and wrestling.  He won the state wrestling title in his weight class as a junior in high school.  His signature move was to lift his opponent off the mat and slam him down. As a senior, they moved him to the unlimited weight class and that move was no longer a good option.  He was a prankster in high school and on one occasion let snakes loose in the school which caused quite a sensation.

Carl received a scholarship to play football for the UAC Aggies.  However, as a freshman, he discovered his true love: music. He played trumpet in the college band, however, his true talent was a tenor.  He had the lead in the college production of “Martha.” He played the part of Tybalt in “Romeo and Juliet” and had to fence and be killed by Romeo.  Carl said that it was difficult to lose, because Romeo had no fencing ability.

Carl met his wife, Helen, in high school.  They were married in 1950, prior to their freshman year in college, and remained partners for life.  Their oldest son, David, was born two years later. Carl was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army and sent to Japan.  He hated being away from Helen and was happy to return home when his service was complete. He then finished his college experience in music education.  His music degree took him to Hazelton, Idaho, then Ashton, Idaho. His second child, Alice, was born there. From there he moved to Tremonton, Utah, as band and choir teacher at Bear River High School.  His last child, Christine, was born in Tremonton.

Carl’s brother, Ed, encouraged Carl to earn his masters in education and convinced Carl to take a music teacher’s position at Mission Junior High in Santa Cruz, California.  After several years a new opportunity opened for him to become principal of a little school outside of Santa Cruz, Happy Valley Elementary. In addition, he was the 5th/6th grade teacher, janitor, and substitute bus driver.  Helen taught the 1st/2nd grade. All three of their children attended school with them.

In 1965, Ed became superintendent of Franklin Pierce School District.  He began looking for an excuse to get Carl to move to Washington. When the position of superintendent of the Dieringer School District became available, Ed encouraged Carl to apply.  Carl was offered and accepted the position, becoming the first ever superintendent of the Dieringer School District in 1967. The family then moved to Puyallup.

Carl served as superintendent for almost 20 years.  During that time the district grew significantly. He was able to oversee the building of the elementary school, and spent many hours during election time lobbying the voters to pass levies and bonds.  He tried various innovations to tailor the education to the needs of each individual child. He also emphasized music as an integral part of the curriculum. His district was one of the first to implement computer training classes for students as he believed this would be an important part of their future.  He finished his career as he started, teaching children.

After retirement, Carl and Helen served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Sidney, Australia.  After they returned, they moved from Puyallup to a new home in Lake Tapps. Later they served as office staff for the Tacoma Mission of the Church.  They also worked in the Seattle Temple until shortly before Helen’s death.  

Unfortunately, Carl passed away in the spring of 2017 leaving behind a wonderful legacy of three children, eleven grandchildren, and twenty great-grandchildren who meant everything to Carl and Helen.