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March 17, 2022

A Family Tradition

Senior+Editor-in-Chief%2C+Stella+Windhorst%2C+working+on+the+yearbook.
Cambry Tinkle
Senior Editor-in-Chief, Stella Windhorst, working on the yearbook.

The Hillcrest has existed since 1948. Over these 75 years, one family has had three generations serve as staff members.

Senior Stella Windhorst, this year’s editor-in-chief, is a third-generation Hillcrest member. Stella’s mother, Sarah Windhorst, was on staff during her senior year of high school in 1987. Not only was Stella’s grandmother, Mary Alice Radcliffe, on the yearbook staff at Paoli, but she also named the Hillcrest in 1948.

Former Hillcrest Editor-in-Chief, Mary Alice Byrum Radcliff. (Cambry Tinkle)

Seventy-five years ago, a schoolwide contest was held seeking a name for the Paoli High School yearbook. Radcliffe, then a freshman, entered the contest with a unique name in mind. She recounts this time in her life very vividly.

“[The school] had a contest that all the interested students could participate in, and I won! I remember my inspiration coming from the fact that the school was on the hill. I started with the name ‘Crest’ and someone said I should add the name ‘Hill.’ Crest means ‘the top of something,’ and the school was on the top of the hill,” said Radcliffe.

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Radcliff’s senior yearbook. (Cambry Tinkle)

Two years after naming the yearbook, Radcliffe joined the yearbook staff because of her adviser, Elizabeth Jennette. Jennette sponsored the yearbook and was the physical education teacher. Radcliffe remembers being very fond of Jennette.

“She got me started on it and was one of my best friends and teachers. It was like she was a part of the class because she was so fun. She was young and just like us,” said Radcliffe.

During her junior year, Radcliffe worked on the yearbook as the co-editor. It was in her senior year that Radcliffe gained the title of editor-in-chief of the yearbook. Radcliffe looks back on her time on the yearbook staff with great pride.

Former Hillcrest staff member, Sarah Radcliffe Windhorst. (Cambry Tinkle)

“It was a big accomplishment. It was something other than schoolwork to be proud of,” said Radcliffe.

The next in the line to work for the yearbook staff was Radcliffe’s daughter, Sarah Radcliffe Windhorst.

Sarah worked on the book during her senior year of high school with her friend Amy Babcock-Haworth. Sadly, Sarah passed away in 2022, but Amy worked alongside Sarah. The two worked with journalism teacher Ruth Uyesugi and yearbook adviser Janet Perry.

Windhorst’s senior yearbook. (Cambry Tinkle)

“I don’t remember a time that I didn’t know Sarah. There wasn’t an ugly bone in her body. We had a strong Journalism 1 class with Mrs. U. After that class, some finished their journalism path, some went to the yearbook, and a couple of us stayed with the Paolite. I stayed and was the editor of the paper. Sarah and several others worked with Janet Perry on the yearbook. Our yearbook was Metamorphosis, and because of that, we placed the seniors in the back. It was pretty unusual for its time. I believe Renee Hamilton was the editor,” said Babcock-Haworth.

Senior Stella Windhorst now holds the title of Editor-in-Chief and has been a four-year member of the Hillcrest staff.

Windhorst plays a similar role as her mother and grandmother did before her. Before being the editor-in-chief, Stella was in charge of the academic section of the yearbook. Stella’s job now includes deciding on a design, a theme, the page layouts, and the yearbook’s content.

Holding her current position holds a special place in Stella’s heart because it was the same position her grandmother had years ago and brought her closer to her mother.

“Being a part of the Hillcrest legacy is so special. My mama is such a beautiful woman inside and out, and so was my mom. Following in their footsteps will always be an honor, no matter what the experience may be. They make me want to do the best job because I know that is exactly what they would have done,” said Windhorst.

Stella looks to leave her impact on the school’s history with her work on this year’s yearbook, just as her mother and grandmother did before her.

This story was originally published on PHS Media News on January 17, 2024.