When La Cañada High School teacher, athletic director and girls basketball coach Tamar Hill stepped down from her athletic positions in March, she was looking for a change of pace from the hectic schedules and stresses that had come to dominate her life.
In addition to her many hats, Hill also ran the Spartan Allstars, a K-9 sports day camp and a passion she wanted to continue.
"Teaching, coaching, being AD and sports camp — it was just too much. Something had to give," she said. "(And) I was looking for something else to invest in."
In May, Hill hit the streets, delighting warm-weather refugees from the window of her own Kona Ice shaved-ice truck.
These days, the part-time LCHS science teacher can be seen at a number of local outdoor events, from the Music in the Park concert series, to sold-out stadium concerts at the Rose Bowl, where she serves as many as 500 customers an hour.
Last Friday, Hill took her wares to Paradise Canyon Elementary School's back-to-school night, where she was greeted by children and parents alike. Keeping within Kona Ice's business model, Hill donated 20% of all money earned back to the school.
She says she was drawn to Kona Ice after visiting her sister in Utah last summer. Hill's brother-in-law introduced her to the tasty treat and she was hooked.
"I tried a bite and thought, 'This is amazing. Why do we not have this all over Southern California?'" she said.
Hill's upcoming local appearances include the Sept. 14 One Direction concert at the Rose Bowl and La Cañada Elementary School's Back to School picnic on Sept. 5.