Hillside High gets new principal

STAFF WRITERAugust 12, 2009 

A "high school turnaround consultant" from the state Department of Public Instruction has been named the new principal of Hillside High School in Durham, according to a news release issued this morning.

Hans D. Lassiter has been working with DPI for the past year. Prior to that, he served as principal of Southern Lee High School in Sanford for three years. He also has spent time at Perquimans County High, Southern Vance High School, and Vance-Granville Community College.

The appointment comes over a month after the abrupt resignation of Earl Pappy, Hillside's popular leader for three years. Pappy's predecessor, Eunice Sanders, left after four years to take an assistant superintendent position. Before Sanders, the school saw four different principals in as many years.

But Lassiter is coming full circle. He started his career at Hillside in the early 1990s as a social studies teacher. He also taught at Southern High in Durham.

"I began my career as a teacher at Hillside, and it is a dream come true to be able to come home and work with many of the professionals who I can remember from that time," Lassiter said in the release. "I have monitored Hillside's achievements and their challenges.... I am excited to be part of Hillside's continued upward mobility."

Hillside met expected growth this past year, according to the state ABCs rankings that came out last week.

Lassiter is completing his doctorate in education administration and supervision later this year from N.C. State, where he earned a master's degree.

"Hans Lassiter brings a rich tenure of experience in high school education and administration," Durham Public Schools superintendent Carl Harris said in the release. "Serving as both a principal at this level and as an evaluator of high school programs statewide have prepared him well for working with Hillside ... as they strive for continued improvement."

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