About Us

Hillside School opened its doors as a grade 3-6 school in September of 1962. It is situated on 20 acres of land that was sold to the district for $1.00. Walter Kritzberger was the first principal. It was a 3-6 school until June of 1964. In September of 1964, Van Holten was opened as the new K-4 school. Hillside then became a middle school housing 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grade students. All the third and fourth grade students and teachers were transferred to Van Holten. During the time Hillside was a middle school, Andrew Hudec served as the assistant principal.

The next major transition for Hillside School revolved around the closing of Washington School in 1979. A large number of students and faculty from Washington School were transferred to Hillside. Walter Kritzberger retired, and Wilson Bethard, who was the principal of Washington School, became the new principal of Hillside. The fifth graders were transferred out of Hillside, now making Hillside a Grades 6, 7 and 8 school. It was at this time that Hillside piloted Team Teaching.

A few years later, Adamsville was closed as a middle school, and the Adamsville staff and students also became a part of Hillside. Hillside was now quite over crowded, but the new additions were warmly welcomed.

Hillside remained a middle school until June of 1995. In September, 1995, it was converted to an intermediate school, housing grades 4, 5 and 6 while Bridgewater High School East was transformed into a middle school. Principal Bethard was transferred to the new Middle School, and Mrs. Teresa Pennington was appointed the Principal of Hillside. Jack Melitsky, who was Assistant Principal under Bethard, remained vice principal of Hillside until the fall of 1997 when he was moved to the Middle School. It was also at this time that the the sixth graders re-joined the seventh and eighth graders at the middle school. Barbara Kane was then shared with Eisenhower Intermediate School as Assistant Principal until 1999 when Laura Zamrok was appointed the new vice principal. From 2007 through September of 2012, while Mrs. Zamrok took an extended leave of absence, Mrs. Jennifer Dinardi, Mr. Daniel Fonder, Mrs. Valerie Ulrich and Mrs. Luisa Young all joined Hillside as assistant principals before moving onto other exciting opportunities. In September of 2012, Mrs. Zamrok rejoined her Hillside Family as Assistant Principal after her extended leave. Over the summer of 2014, Mrs. Pennington retired and Mrs. Zamrok moved to another position within the district, so in September of 2014, Mr. William Ferry and Mr. Marc Hungarter took over as Principal and Assistant Principal.

In 2001, Jane Goodall visited Hillside school to attend our annual Forest Fest. She again came to Hillside School in 2004 to designate it as not only the first free-standing but also the first elementary school to have the distinction of being a Roots & Shoots School in the US.

Hillside remained an intermediate school housing grades 4 and 5, until September, 2006, when it was converted to a Grade 5 and 6 school. With this conversion, came a new 3-story addition that included project/science rooms, small group rooms, music rooms, a computer lab and an auxiliary gym. Hillside continues it’s participation as a Roots and Shoots school today.