Alumni Profile: Ryan Frost
“When I became a student at Hill, many things changed for me,” says Ryan Frost who came to Hill School as an eleventh grader. “It was cool to be a student there.” Ryan enrolled on the recommendation of his English teacher who saw gaps in his basic reading and writing skills. Before Hill, “I got by flying under the radar.” School had often been a struggle even with tutoring in reading, writing and foreign language. Ryan admits it was “hard, not fun and something I dreaded dealing with on a regular basis.”
With immediate success in his Hill classes, he began to feel confident in his abilities and did not feel the need to hide and compensate for what he could not do. “I was able to address my shortcomings head on and learn strategies to overcome my differences. Hill gave me the skills to fully demonstrate my knowledge, intelligence, and all that I had and was learning.” Ryan learned it was okay to take extra time on tests, papers, reading or other areas of academics in order to achieve to the best of his ability. “My teachers and my friends at Hill made it okay, and even cool to have learning differences. All of this gave me the confidence and the skills to go on and do all I have done and continue to do today.”
Ryan graduated from Durham Academy, where he played varsity soccer and lacrosse, and Hill Learning Center in 1993, receiving the first George Watts Hill award at the high school level. In 1997 he graduated from Franklin & Marshall College where he also played varsity lacrosse. Ryan received Master’s degrees in Education and in Athletic Administration from Springfield College. His coaching career began at Springfield, took him to the Kinkaid School in Houston, and then to Cardigan Mountain School in Canaan, NH, where he currently serves as Athletic Director. In 2020 Ryan became the first middle school athletic director to be named to the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council. In 2009, Ryan was presented Hill’s Road Less Traveled alumni award, which he reports hangs on his office wall along with his George Watts Hill award plaque. He is proud to explain them to anyone who asks. Ryan and his wife Meredith, who is also a teacher, have 2 daughters, Caroline and Natalie and a son, James.
Ryan’s relationship with Hill did not end when he graduated. He says, “Hill Learning Center, and particularly my teachers there who became my friends, have continued to help me in many ways…they have been my friends for over 25 years, my cheerleaders, and people I could count on for editing, advice or whatever I needed.” As a coach and athletic director, Ryan often uses the communication and advocacy skills with his students, players, coaches, and parents. His advice to current and future Hill students is “Enjoy your time at Hill. Work hard and give your best effort every day. Life is better when you have a place like Hill Learning Center in your corner. There is no place in the world, outside of your home, more full of people who care about you, are willing to do anything to help you, and want the very best for you and your future.”