The History of Hillside
The largest black schools in Durham prior to the building of Whitted School in 1887 were the Ledger Public School in Hayti, under the supervision of Miss Ledger, and the Hack Road Public School, where James Whitted, "a highly respected man of mixed races (Black and Indian) who had managed to educate himself," was superintendent.
In 1887, the Whitted School existed as the James A. Whitted High School, in honor of its first principal. The school, which was located on the corner of Blackwell and Pettigrew Streets, burned in 1888 and was located in a Bull Factory warehouse. In 1890, 161 pupils attended the school's six grades. Whitted taught the upper grades, William G. Pearson taught the middle grades, and two female teachers taught the first and second grades.
The first class graduated from the ninth grade of Whitted School in 1896. Also in 1896, a permanent brick building was constructed on Proctor and Ramsey Street for black children at a cost of $8000. In 1899, the building was destroyed and reconstructed, but students were housed in churches during that school year. In 1901, another black school, West End, was built. At this time 707 students were enrolled in the Durham black graded schools. In 1909, the East End School was constructed.
Only nine grades existed at Whitted from 1896 until 1911, but in 1911 a tenth grade was added. The 11th grade was added in 1918. From 1919 until 1920, first graders were housed in "dog houses," which were temporary shacks near the brick school building.
The Whitted School, which was in poor condition, burned in 1921, and students had to attend double sessions at East End and West End Schools. John Sprunt Hill, a leading Durham citizen, donated land for a new building on Pine and Umstead Street, which was named Hillside Park High School in honor of the donor and due to the fact that the school was located next to Hillside Park, a public city-owned Black Park. The class of 1944 was the first to graduate under the 12-year system. A public address system was installed in the school in 1943 at a cost of $150.
The "Park" was dropped from the name Hillside High School in 1943. In 1950, because of overcrowding in the high school, the Hillside High School students moved into what was then called Whitted Junior High School, located near the campus of North Carolina Central University (NCCU) and now the site of an NCCU science classroom building, and the Whitted Junior High School students moved into the old Hillside Park High School building closer to downtown Durham. The schools' buildings also swapped names. Hillside High School at this time only enrolled grades 10, 11, and 12 and Whitted Junior High School enrolled 7, 8, and 9.
Additions of an auditorium, cafeteria, auto shop, classroom, and gymnasium were made to accommodate a large number of transferred high school students in 1949. A classroom annex was added to the Hillside building in 1962. In 1966, a new library was added. A new band room was constructed in 1975.
Hillside was relocated to a new building in 1995.
Eunice Sanders was Hillside's principal from 2002 to 2006, resigning after the 2005-2006 school year to move to an administrative position within the Durham Public Schools Central Office. Earl Pappy was the principal of Hillside from 2006 to 2009. He was followed by Hans Lassiter who served as principal from 2009-2012.
The current Principal is Dr. William Logan.