From College Prep during COVID-19, and Braves helping Braves, to academic accolades for Indian Hill students

By Chuck Gibson (Heather Higdon, Director of Communications contributed to this story)

INDIAN HILL, OH (April 30, 2020) – College tours took on a different look this April for Indian Hill High School (IHHS) seniors and juniors.

Indian Hill High School College and Career Coordinator Ester Hall organized opportunities for current seniors to connect virtually with recent graduates to learn about different colleges and universities during the month of April. (Provided) 

On most Tuesdays thru Thursdays during April they had the opportunity to have virtual visits and talk college directly with IHHS grads currently attending the universities. Social distancing via Google meets from campuses all across the country did not stop the grads from making it a personal experience for each junior and senior. Indian Hill High School College and Career Coordinator Ester Hall was inspired to establish and manage the virtual meetings after a mother of a recent IHHS graduate contacted her and offered to help.

“Due to the COVID-19 social distancing orders across the country, high school students are not able to participate in typical campus visits to colleges; this was a way for us to help,” said Hall. “When we reached out to Indian Hill High School alumni and asked if they would be willing to participate in virtual college chats to share information and experiences we had an overwhelming response.” ​

Nearby colleges like University of Cincinnati, University of Dayton and Xavier in Ohio were represented along with Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Butler, Purdue and Notre Dame in Indiana. Both University of Michigan and Michigan State were represented as well as Stanford, UCLA, Vanderbilt, Penn State, University of Pennsylvania, Duke, Wake Forest, University of Kentucky, Northwestern, Case, West Virginia, University of Virginia, Baylor, Colgate, Georgia Tech, Washington University, University of Tampa and others like Colgate, Alma College, Emerson College, Adrian College, and Lafayette. The list of schools represented proved impressive to Hall.


“I was absolutely impressed with the response by our alumni,” Hall said. “They were so willing to do anything they could to help, even to the point of offering their contact information if students had more questions about their particular university. Listening to our alum brag about how well the Indian Hill School District has prepared them for college and hearing about their successes was truly satisfying.”

Preparation and success go hand-in-hand for Indian Hill Middle School & High School students:

More than 100 Braves from the High School and Middle School earned awards on the National Latin Exam – two IHMS students were perfect.

Casey de Blanc, grade 6, earned a perfect score on the National Mythology Exam (Provided)

Fifty-nine IHMS Braves earned awards on National Latin Exam, but sixth-grade student Casey de Blanc and seventh-grade student Andrew Coburn each earned a perfect score. Coburn earned his perfect score on the National Latin Exam and de Blanc on the National Mythology Exam.

“Earning a perfect score is a great achievement,” said Indian Hill Middle School Latin Teacher Alex Fries. “It takes a great deal of hard work and focus to achieve this feat. I am so proud of Casey and Andrew!”

The total of 59 National Latin Exam awards earned by IHMS students included 33 seventh-grade students and 26 eighth-grade students. The National Latin Exam (NLE) is a test given annually to Latin students across the United States and around the world.

Andrew Coburn, grade 7, earned a perfect score on the National Latin Exam. (Provided)

“Developing global competence within our students is part of what it means to be an Indian Hill Middle School Brave,” said Indian Hill Middle School Principal Jennifer Ulland. “We are incredibly proud of all of our Braves who showed advanced knowledge within the National Latin Exam, and outstanding job to both Casey and Andrew for earning the perfect scores!”

Indian Hill High School proudly announced 106 students successfully completed the National Latin Exam including 49 who earned National Latin Exam awards! Seven students claimed gold medals – the highest award attainable.

Indian Hill High School (Provided) 

“I am delighted that nearly half of our students earned awards on the exam,” said Indian Hill High School Latin Teacher Melissa Burgess. “We took the National Latin Exam the last week we were in school, and it makes me proud that we left for our extended spring break having accomplished something quite awesome!”

 The National Latin Exam is a 40-question test over a variety of topics, including grammar, reading comprehension, mythology, derivatives, literature, Roman life, history, geography, oral Latin, and Latin in use in the modern world. Indian Hill High School offers the National Latin Exam to all students who are taking Latin I – AP Latin.

Click here for story and complete list of Indian Hill High School students who earned awards.

Braves helping Braves reaches beyond the classroom and into the community:

Indian Hill Educators Professional Organization (IHEPO) just recently approved a very generous donation of $5,000 to the Braves Helping Braves Fund in a show of support for families in the Indian Hill School District.

Indian Hill Foundation created “Braves Helping Braves” fund in March (Provided) 

The Indian Hill Foundation coordinated with the Indian Hill School District to establish the “Braves Helping Braves Fund” in March to collect donations from the community to support District families in crisis at this challenging time of pandemic response. IHEPO president Anne Kuhn, an Indian Hill teacher, cited a lifetime of dedication to serving the community beyond the classroom.  

“The members of IHEPO love this District and we love this community,” said Kuhn. “We have dedicated our lives and careers to the service of this community and that service does not stop in the classroom. If others are in need and we have the resources to offer, we feel compelled to do so. As has been said oftentimes recently, we are all in this together.”


The fund currently has a balance close to $13,000 with the IHEPO support significantly boosting resources. As the economic fallout continues, the Braves Helping Braves Fund will serve as one resource for relief from financial strains on district neighbors in need. Indian Hill Director of Pupil Services Erica Leppert indicated five families have already received assistance with more applications coming in.

“I continue to be amazed with the generosity of every member of our Brave family,” said Leppert. “We know how much our teachers love our students, and this contribution is just one more way they demonstrate that love. The Indian Hill Promise goes far beyond just a world-class education. We could not be more grateful for our educators!”

Daily meal delivery also continues to 70 District families. Thank you for considering a donation to the Braves Helping Braves Fund. It is a positive action you can take in uncertain times and is greatly appreciated.

Visit and see the Braves Helping Braves link.