Honoring Nick Hillsman


Over the summer, 2016 Jefferson-Morgan alum Nick Hillsman passed away. The community did not take this lightly and neither did the Jefferson-Morgan school district. Hillsman was a giant fan of hockey and the Pittsburgh Penguins to which he attended many games and never missed a chance to show off his jersey.

Teachers donated a hockey net in Hillsman’s honor, and art teacher Mike Lesko painted in memory of Nick. The hockey net now sits in the high school gym for all to see.

Freshman Logan Rhodes said, “I think what the school did was very nice and it’s a good reminder of Nick and the good impact he had on JM.”

This isn’t all the Jefferson-Morgan school district did.  The Jefferson- Morgan Education Association also donated two Pittsburgh Penguins books to the Junior-Senior High School Library. A sign hangs stating that, “The Jefferson-Morgan Junior-Senior High School Library gratefully acknowledges the gift of Pittsburgh Penguins (2 books) from Jefferson Morgan Education Association in memory of Nicholas Hunter Hillsman.”

“I never had the chance to actually get to know Nick, but it doesn’t change how I feel about the kind act,” said sophomore Louie Debolt. “If I get the chance I would like to get to the library to check out the two books since I also like hockey.”

Nick’s older sister Emily Hillsman posted about Jefferson-Morgan’s act of kindness on her FaceBook saying, “Growing up in a small town can surely have its downfalls sometimes. But when heartache hits, you won’t see this kind of love. My family and I have received amazing love, support, donations and memorials for my brother. My brother and I both graduated from Jefferson-Morgan…I am speechless at the love and support my family and I have received from the JM teachers, school board, staff, and so on. Thank you Jodi Petro Fulks for the amazing hockey net that was placed in the gym in memory of my brother. They also donated 2 pens books to the library. I know we all sometimes say we hate growing up in a small town, but right now I couldn’t be more thankful for where I’m from.”

Nick’s passing impacted everyone greatly and the school, his friends, family, and the JM family will hold a special place in their heart for him. May he rest in peace.