Community mourns passing of educational leader, icon Dr. Margaret Hill

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Dr. Margaret Hill stands in front of the original “Maggie’s Café” sign that hung at San Andreas High School back in 2002.
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Dr. Margaret Hill, community icon, leader, longtime San Bernardino City Unified school board member, and known by many as the “community mother for all,” passed away Sunday, December 19. She was 81.

Dr. Hill was a passionate advocate for children and a dedicated educational leader, having served on the Board of Education faithfully since she was elected in 2011. She led the District as Board President in 2015-2017.

Hill graduated with a bachelor’s from Norfolk State University and a master’s degree in educational administration from California State University San Bernardino in 1980 and went on to receive an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Redlands. She is the author of two books, “It’s All About the Children” and “From Sharecropping to Non-Stopping: Reflections On Life From A Veteran Educator.” She also wrote weekly education columns for The Sun newspaper. 

Margaret’s career in education span 50 years and led her from being a high school teacher to serving as a school principal, to assistant superintendent of San Bernardino County, to an adjunct professor, and eventually a school board member these last 10 years for the San Bernardino City Unified School District. 

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She began teaching in 1971 at San Bernardino High School. The last 16 years of her District career were spent as the principal of San Andreas High School until her retirement in 2003. Margaret returned to work at the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools office in 2006, where she was assistant superintendent of Administrative Services until her retirement on July 2, 2012. 

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

Approximately two years ago she was honored with the dedication of the “Dr. Margaret Hill Board of Education Community Room” in the San Bernardino Education building.

“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.”

Hill has served on various organizations and clubs, including the Highland Woman’s Club, the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc., San Bernardino Black Culture Foundation, Time for Change Foundation, Sheriff’s Department Information Exchange Committee, Kiwanis of Greater San Bernardino and the San Bernardino Police Department Citizen Advisory Group. She is the recipient of numerous local, county, state, and federal awards for her community service.

No details are known yet about memorial services to celebrate the life of this remarkable soul, but in the coming days and weeks, further information will be provided. 

Rest In Peace, beloved Margaret.

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