Getting to Know Mr. Hilsabeck

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Mr. Hilsabeck, one of the newest members of the Sewickley Academy high school is excited to join us as he is excited to return to his roots of teaching high school students. (Aizah Kamal/Sewickley Academy)

Aizah Kamal

Geoffrey Hilsabeck is one of two new faculty members in the Senior School and teaches 11th and 12th grade English. After studying English at Vassar College and the University of Chicago, Mr. Hilsabeck earned a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) from the Iowa Writers Workshop.

One of the most notable details about Mr. Hilsabeck is his love for cities. He first taught English at a boarding school in Massachusetts called Middlesex and then moved to Morgantown, West Virginia to become an assistant professor at West Virginia University. He remarked about how much more time he had when he moved to West Virginia; he was able to write and spend more time with his children.

Naturally, Mr. Hilsabecek was drawn to Pittsburgh because of its diversity and history, but also because of an “accident of circumstance.” Because Mr. Hilsabeck’s wife earned a position as a professor at West Virginia University, it made most sense for him and his family to move to Pittsburgh.

Moreover, when asked about his hobbies, Mr. Hilsabeck simply said, “I don’t really have any hobbies,” and instead claimed that much of his freetime went towards spending time with his two children. Nevertheless, in regards to English-related activities, he thoroughly enjoys writing poetry. His favorite author is Shakespeare, which is seen pretty clearly when one walks into his room and notices the bookshelf full of Shakespearean plays.

Mr. Hilsabeck is also a published poet who wrote “Nerve” and “Riddle 6.” After writing the poem “Riddle 6,” he began to reflect upon the roots of the poem, which ultimately led him to come to the conclusion that the general topic of it was related to how “more time gave him the ability to make mistakes and grow.”

We are extremely excited to have Mr. Hilsabeck as a part of the SA community, especially as someone who is inspired by the Sewickley Academy’s mission statement and motto. He has previously remarked about the importance of creativity and educational vigor in an English classroom.