Hillside High hits record graduation rate

Posted September 16, 2013

— William Logan, principal of Hillside High School, keeps a chart that shows the change in the school's graduation rate over the past eight years in a place of pride on his desk.

But that chart isn't just kept behind closed doors. Logan had copies blown up and posted throughout the halls of the Durham high school.

"It's largely about motivating the students and communicating a sense of hope," Logan said.

"They know what the graduation rate was for the last school year, and they've embraced the challenge of making sure they exceed that graduation rate."

In 2009, the school graduated just 52 percent of those who enrolled as freshmen. This past spring, the class of 2013 saw almost 84 percent graduate. It was a record for Hillside that Logan intends to top.

Imari McClean said it was that potential and the International Baccalaureate program at Hillside that drew her to the school.

"I've seen students under Dr. Logan's lead take an initiative in their learning," she said.

McClean, now a senior, is the student body president.

William Logan, principal of Hillside High School Durham's Hillside High sees record graduation

Logan said part of the improvement stemmed from better record-keeping and keeping a closer eye on how to help students stay in school. 

"Historically, when kids fall off a cohort and they know they are supposed to be senior and they are still in the 10th grade and no one has a specific conversation with that student, they tend to drop out," Logan said.

The Class of 2013 marked another record for Hillside as well. Graduates earned more than $5 million in scholarship money for their next educational step.

Logan has an even greater goal. 

"Maybe we'll be that school one day that gets to 100 percent," he said.


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  • Jack Flash Sep 17, 2013

    Great news! Hillside is a bitter rival on the field and court, but I couldn't be happier to hear of this success. Congrats, Hornets!

  • hollylama Sep 17, 2013

    This is great news and a testament to the power of setting high expectations.

  • OGE Sep 17, 2013

    Yet let's let the wonderful Governor and Legislators continue to Degrade Teachers.

  • 678devilish Sep 17, 2013

    Thanks should go to the principals and all the teachers and others on the campus that had a positive effect towards the students. The students saw all of this and excell. That is wonderful. Many high schools, middle, elementary cannot say that. There are teacher etc. that have attitudes and not much positive around the students. Just wondering why some are even there.

  • 678devilish Sep 17, 2013

    Congratulations! May they be an example to all high schools in NC.

  • Toddler10-21 Sep 17, 2013

    Great story. Great job teachers, and students!!

  • Canes Girl Forever Sep 17, 2013

    That's great news!

  • PanthersFan45 Sep 17, 2013

    Always good to see a positive story. Keep up the trend.

  • djofraleigh Sep 17, 2013

    "Have you thought hard about what you could do to make a difference in the life of a young person?" -- BeHereNow

    Yes, yes yes. That does not even have to mean in a school, but at the street in the front of one's house, or at a market where a young person bags your groceries or at the drive thru window taking your order -- compliment those doing a good job and remember they are working. Ask the kids passing by on the street if everything looks good around the neighborhood, and thank them for watching out for the neighborhood, and even if they weren't, they might start. Paying attention to children has currency. Kids want attention. Tell them they are doing good, and they will do better, just like you and me would.

    Staying in school, finishing high school is good. That's part of the reason teen pregnancies are at a decades long low.

  • Nope Sep 17, 2013

    "But, I believe government sponsored education is about welfare and entitlements."

    Wow, don't think that there will be a more moronic comment on here today.