A native of Vicksburg, Mississippi in Warren County, received his Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture Education from Alcorn State University in 1963. He received a Master of Science degree in Agriculture Education in 1972 from Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama. He received an endorsement in School Administration from Alcorn State University and did further studies at Mississippi State University and University of Southern Mississippi.
Mr. Hill has spent more than fifty (50) years in Lawrence county teaching students, molding character, enlightening parents and edifying the entire community. As an agriculture and vocational teacher in a small rural agriculture county, his instructions and expertise have had an impact not only the students but the parents and community at-large. His accomplishments in the classroom were recognized, and he was honored as Vocational Agriculture Teacher of the Year by the Magnolia Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association. His career expanded to Title XX Coordinator, Assistant Superintendent of Education and serving as Director of Personnel and Technology and Career Education.
In addition to his role as an outstanding educator, he continues to be an integral part of the community. His community leadership is exemplified in his role as a deacon and adult Sunday School teacher and Senior Choir Leader at Monticello First Baptist Church; his lifetime membership and leadership in the Lawrence County National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); one of the founders of Lawrence County Educational and Recreational Association; Executive Director of Lawrence County Habitat for Humanity; E. M. Graham Award of Excellence by the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Hill was elected as the first African American Alderman for the town of Monticello and served in this position for twelve (12) years. Mr. Hill was recognized at the State Capitol with House Resolution #73, Senate Resolution #19 and Senate Concurrent Resolution #590 for his dedication to youth and public service in 2004.
Additional community leadership, awards and commendations include Man of the Year by Mu Pi Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., State FFA Forestry Award, Area Director’s Award for the State of Mississippi Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Recognized by former Governor Ray Mabus for participation on the Voter Awareness/Education Committee, Service Award by Monticello Lodge #348, Outstanding Leadership Award by Williams Chapter #452 Order of Eastern Star, Humanitarian Award, Advisory Board Member of AmSouth Bank, Chairman of the Family Health Care Clinics, Family Health Care Leadership Award and Head Start Award by Five County Child Development.
Mr. Hill is an active lifetime member of the Alcorn State University National Alumni Association who has served as 2nd Vice-President and Treasurer. He is also a member of the Alcorn State University 1871 Club. Locally, Mr. Hill is a charter member and Past President of more than twenty (20) years of the Monticello Alcorn Alumni Chapter. Mr. Hill’s love for Alcorn has encouraged countless students to attend and graduate from Alcorn. He has given of his time and resources to escort numerous local and state officials to visit the campus and talk with administration. Mr. Hill was honored in 2001 as Alcornite of the Year, recipient of the Matt Thomas Service Award by the National Alumni Association in 2000, inducted in the Alcorn State University Hall of Honor in 1995 as a member of its sixth class. Additionally, he is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Mr. Hill can often be seen in the Monticello community distributing potato pies to the sick, shut-in and the elderly.
He is married to Savannah Burns Hill and they have two children: James, Jr. and Latrice. They reside in Monticello, Mississippi.