Local News

Hillside High School Names New Principal

Posted May 31, 2001

— After months of speculation, Ann Denlinger, superintendent of Durham Public Schools, made her decision about Hillside High School's new principal. She pulled her choice from the city's own ranks.

Durham public school officials tell WRAL.com that Hillside's next principal will be Henry Pankey, who has spent the last three years as principal of Southern High School.

More than a dozen parents took Wednesday morning off to intercept Denlinger at the Fuller Administration Building. They want Pankey to stay put at Southern.

"He's still working on the school. He's still bringing the school up. Let him finish what he came here to do," says parent Barbara Cashman.

Pankey has received praise for turning Southern High School around. Under his three-year leadership, the school's discipline problems have diminished, test scores are up and morale is high.

"It's nationally recognized, and we feel that our children should not suffer from making this kind of decision. To move a principal at this point in his career and our commitment to that school, this is really quite troubling to us," says parent Evonne Coleman-Rorie.

The superintendent decided to re-assign former Hillside principal Richard Hicks when an investigation last fall revealed 40 percent of Hillside's student body missed more than 15 days and still earned course credit, which is against school policy.

Hicks will be transferred to Durham Public Schools Department of Community Education where he will work as a liasion between businesses and schools for the next school year.


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