Testimonials for Hillandale

Story from parent and teacher Julie Keeton

Hillandale is an OUTSTANDING school, where staff, parents and students are a big family! Hillandale is about COMMUNITY and CARING!! I’ve taught for 20 years in Durham Public Schools. The 12 years that I’ve spent at Hillandale have been unmatched! I take great pride in being a teacher here, amongst the highest calibre of educators in Durham. We all have a common goal and that is to ensure success from every child that enters our school. We not only strive to fill them with knowledge, but with self-worth, respectfulness, determination and independence. Teaching is certainly a team effort, consisting of the children, parents, administrators, teachers, and a multitude of support staff.

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Story from parent Chris Westerfeldt

Hillandale is a fantastic school! The staff, from the Fantastic Principal Bates (who seems to know and care about every single student and parent under her charge!!!), to the teachers, assistants, office staff and housekeepers – all are like family! I cannot walk into that school without getting tears for the wonderful memories. My children are now in middle and high school but THIS school has captured my heart. My wife, deceased two years ago, loved this school with all her heart and worked hard for a decade to contribute to its great arts programs.

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Story from parent Mohamed Noor, PhD

My son just finished Kindergarten at Hillandale Elementary. We moved him around a fair bit for daycare and preschools, primarily since we felt that none of them was really engaging him academically. Although they went over basics like the letters of the alphabet, they did so fleetingly and without reinforcement. So, for that example, he started kindergarten still not knowing all the letters of the alphabet or their sounds. Everything changed in one year at Hillandale. Our son LOVED his kindergarten teacher, and would come home each day talking about the things he did, the things he’d learned, etc. She clearly found a way to engage with the students and capture their interest.

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Teaching assistant and Northern High graduate Elvira's story

I have been teaching at Hillandale for just over 31 years. I enjoy each year that I start a new class of students, and give them the basis of their education so they can go to college and become a positive asset to society. I have seen my students become doctors, lawyers, teachers, and great parents. In order to do our jobs, we need the cooperation of the parents to teach little Sue and Robert. We look forward to seeing them in the coming year.

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Story from parent Ebony Sneed

From the beginning, it was a welcoming environment. I could not have asked for a better school, teachers, support staff, and administrator. Her Kindergarten teacher was phenomenal, nurturing, fair, and firm. First grade was even better, as the teacher and her assistant catered to the children’s senses through cooking, their arts throughout various play performed by the class (the Mother’s Day celebration was the BEST), and I can’t forget about the Fairy Tale Ball that the 2nd grade presents to the entire school.

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