The Hill Center Celebrates 40 Years with The Monti

The Hill Center Celebrates 40 Years with The Monti

This storytelling event is centered around the theme of courage


After 40 years, there are bound to be some stories to tell. The Hill Center celebrates its four decades of impact on the community with The Monti, a nonprofit that encourages people to share their unscripted personal stories. Tales for the evening will be centered around the theme of courage, inspired by The Hill Center. Along with The Monti founder, creator and emcee for the evening, Jeff Polish, the event will feature stories told by educators, parents of Hill Center students, Hill Center alumni, and those dedicated to the field of learning differences and education. Some of the featured storytellers include Lee Hark, Sara Gray Horne, J.J. Johnson, Dawn McClendon and Dr. Ann Turnbull, with more storytellers expected to be added.

When Thursday, October 12. Doors open at 7pm, program starts at 7:30pm.
Where The Hill Center, 3200 Pickett Road, Durham
Tickets $30 (plus fees)

Durhamite Lee Hark’s background is steeped in education, from teaching to school leadership. He is currently Durham Academy’s associate head of school and is also co-teaching a class. His past positions include Dean of Students, Coordinator of Faculty Recruitment and Upper School Director. Lee is also a former Hill Center parent: His son Ben is a Hill Center alum.
As an educator at The Hill Center since 1984, Sara Gray Horne is deeply connected to the programs and those involved in it past and present. Sara Gray currently serves as the Outreach Trainer and Partnership Manager for The Hill Center, while also developing new curriculum and mentoring teachers across North Carolina.
Another storyteller of the evening, J.J. Johnson received her master’s of education from Harvard University and has authored several young adult novels. In addition to her role as counselor, educator and novelist, J.J. is a Hill Center parent.
Duke graduate Dawn McClendon, who previously taught in public schools in Chapel Hill and Durham, currently tutors for The Hill Center in East Durham schools and teaches in Hill’s summer program.
Dr. Ann Turnbull has spent 45 years dedicated to special education, and is credited with helping to change the course of history for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Currently a faculty fellow at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center at UNC-Chapel Hill, Ann notes that her son, Jay Turnbull, inspired her greatest learning.


Ann Fitts
Editorial intern for Durham Magazine, student at UNC-Chapel Hill. But don't worry, I won't let that affect my work.