"Open Letter to Voters in Our Hometown,
In 2005 on Career Day at Thurston Middle School our teacher, Mr. Purdy, invited a classmate’s dad to speak to our 8th grade American Government class about being an international lawyer.
However, Howard Hills talked about his own career much less than he talked about us, and our future. His words changed the way we thought about ourselves. He told us, for example, that taking risks to do what is right and serve causes we believe in can make life more of an adventure than if we had the power to plan our future.
He also told us that how we treated others and were treated in return was more important than where we lived, went to college, or where we were employed. He called on us to look for a college or a job where we will feel valued rather than privileged. Most of all, he filled us with hope and optimism that the choices we make and what we do with our lives really mattered.
I had the honor of delivering a graduation address to my classmates at the 2009 LBHS commencement ceremony in Irvine Bowl. I spoke these words about his mentorship to me and others in our class over the years: “A member of this community, Howard Hills, once told me the definition of success is not our GPA or resume, but rather the extent of our passion in what we do.”
Howard has served the Laguna Beach public schools with passion since he was himself a student leader at LBHS. As a friend of our schools he helped so many people, making dreams come true for students who needed a helping hand.
Sometimes it was a generous Hills Family scholarship publicly recognizing a student who showed courage. Other times it was a private or anonymous gift suggested by a parent or teacher, so a student could pursue opportunity otherwise out of reach. He still gets notes from the former students he helped.
And let’s not forget he was one of the heroic chaperons on our ill-fated marine studies field trip to Catalina, when a hundred kids were stricken by Norwalk virus! For three days and nights he was one of the parent caregivers who went without sleep to nurse us through the worst health crisis of our lives, until the medical evacuation boat finally arrived!
As a friend of the schools for 47 years, he is running for the School Board for the right reasons. If you want to know more about Howard’s platform call him at 949 715 4069, or go to his website at LBStudentsFirst.com."
Alexandra K. Langton, LBHS 2009
American University, Magna Cum Laude 2013
Georgetown University School of Law, Juris Doctorate 2016
"I have known Howard since 1975 when we were roommates and attending California Western School of Law in San Diego, and he has been a good friend for the past four decades. I was Student Body President at Big Bear High School around the same time Howard was doing the same thing in Laguna Beach. Howard has sought to improve the world in whatever way he can. For example, He was a patient advocate at three mental hospitals in West Virginia, as part of an externship program at Cal Western. Thereafter, he be came a Peace Corps volunteer in Micronesia, and then joined the Navy. He has always been an inspiration to me, and a respected friend. I am sure he make an excellent board member."
Dr. William B. Cleary
Attorney/professor, Hiroshima Shudo University
Thank you Mr. Hills. I’m thrilled that you are running for a seat on the Laguna Beach Board of Education. Over the last year and a half, I have attended many board meetings and heard you speak on many issues of importance to our school district. Initially, I was skeptical about your intent. Soon it became clear that you care deeply about our district.
I read the Indy article with interest, brushed aside the attempt to create a controversy where none exists and focused on the issues that you care about. I was thrilled to see that if elected, you will be a champion for our children; that you want to do much more for our fabulous teachers. They certainly deserve it. I applaud your pledge to discontinue the practice of hiring $3,200 a day consultants and instead spend taxpayers money on our students. I have high hopes that your legal expertise will help guide the board on governance issues. Given what I have witnessed and given my experience of working with school boards for over 20 years, they certainly will benefit from your constitutional legal training.
I have heard some criticize you for talking too much, but I encourage you to continue to speak out. I admire both your commitment and courage. sincerely hope that the citizens of Laguna Beach take the time to talk to you, hear what you have to say, because if they do, I truly believe they will come to the conclusion that we need you on the board.
I think it’s so cool that you were student body president of Laguna Beach High School, that you are a surfer (truth be told, I’m envious,) and that your children and grandchildren attended our schools. However, what I most appreciate is your willingness to continue to give back by serving on our school board, just like you gave back serving in the Peace Corps.
Change is good. We will have a new superintendent and I pray you on our board. It’s time for change. I’m filled with high hopes for the future of our district with you on our board. You have my full support. My son needs you on the board and if he could, he tells me he would vote for you."