Heather Hill has deep family ties to Marshall. Those family ties include a former Marshall ISD school board member, both parents who served in the district as educators and administrators, and her husband who is also a graduate of Marshall High School.
But Hill – the former Heather Huffhines – also looks at the Marshall Mavettes as being part of her family, and she is eager to resume those family ties by being named the new director of the Mavettes earlier this summer.
“The Mavettes have a long-standing tradition of excellence and I am honored to get to be a part of that tradition,” says Hill, who married her husband and fellow MHS alum, Garrett Hill, last fall. “I believe that Mavettes is a family. This team deserves the best, and I believe with hard work and dedication there is nothing that we cannot achieve.”
Hill is a 2011 graduate of MHS and former member of the Mavettes herself. She is the grand-daughter of the late George Fitts, who served on the MISD school board, and the daughter of Ted and Angela Huffhines, who served MISD in various capacities over the years until this past school year when Ted retired after a long tenure with MISD that included stops as a teacher, coach, principal and administrator. Heather is a 2015 graduate of the University of Texas, which is also a family tradition.
“Both my parents and my grandfather gave me three wonderful examples of serving MISD because of their love for the students,” she said. “I learned dedication, perseverance and compassion from them. Both of my parents were always about what was best for the students. They never got caught up in the politics that can surround education. They were always fair, always consistent, and always willing to do whatever it took to help their students succeed.”
Hill takes over a Mavette squad that resumed its competition schedule this past year and added to the accomplishments of past Mavette squads and traditions. Having experienced this tradition as a rank-and-file member as well as a Mavette officer during her time as a student, Hill is anxious to continue the success of one of MHS’ long-standing staples.
“I would like to see these girls continue to bond as a team,” she said. “Until you act like a family you will never dance like a single unit, and that is the goal of drill team. I would like to see us return to competition this year and bring home many more awards, and I would like to see the team continue to develop their technique and ability in a variety of different dance genres. They are a phenomenal group of ladies and I am excited to start the year.”
Hill expects her Mavettes to grow and learn much like she did – with a lot of hard work, dedication and genuine love and appreciation for being part of the drill team tradition in Marshall.
“While my absolute fondest memory of MHS would be meeting the man who is now my husband in my freshman English class…I also have special memories of Mavettes under the direction of Mary Ware and Tiffany Best-Jolly,” Hill said. “They both exemplified hard work, high expectations and genuine love for our team. Additionally, I loved the bond I shared with every single girl on the team. We were a family. There is just something that happens when you work together day after day, week after week, toward the same goal. It unifies you in a way that nothing else can.”
While building on her past experiences with Mavettes, Hill also is looking toward continued improvement and experimenting with the ever-expanding nuances of drill-team dancing styles.
“Teamwork, perseverance, mutual respect, and attention to detail…these are all key to putting together a top-notch drill team,” she said. “My expectations long-term would be that we continue to strive for excellence in both character and performance. Additionally, my expectation is that the team would continue to experiment with new styles of dance.”