School spirit & history

2023-2024 Theme

Let's lasso this year to soar like eagles

Let's lasso this year to soar like an eagle!

Show kindness
On task
Academically excellent
Resilient, respectful and responsible


Be Respectful, Responsible, and Do Your Best!

Mission statement

Hillside Academy strives to ensure that every student has the opportunity to reach his/her academic potential and to develop self-control, self-respect, and respect for other in a way that:

  • enhances academic abilities and aesthetic talents of all students;
  • develops the students' critical thinking and problem solving abilities;
  • encourages the students' self-esteem, self-control, and respect for others;
  • promotes the students' positive citizenship and responsible behavior so that all students will meet or exceed educational performance standards and all students will demonstrate self-responsibility.

School colors

Black and Gold

School mascot


Hillside Eagles

Hillside's history

Named for the addition of homes in the surrounding neighborhood, Hillside Elementary opened its doors in 1970. It was located on a 10 acre site, and housed grades K through 5th. The first addition to Hillside Elementary occurred in 1980, with a gym facility and two rooms added as a result of a district-wide improvement program for elementary schools.

In February, 1984 a fire at the school damaged much of the building. Garland-based construction firm, Hallman and Hallman, using the advice of the original architect, Gene Hildinger, performed all of the renovations to the school.

In 1987, Hillside Elementary became an Academy for Excellence, offering accelerated instruction in math and an enriched English language arts, science and social studies curriculum. Its name changed from Hillside Elementary to Hillside Academy for Excellence. 

In almost 4 decades, Hillside has enjoyed twelve individuals serving as building principal.

  • Boone Wilkins opened the school as its first principal and served from 1970 to 1973.
  • Vernal Lister (1973-75)
  • Robert Rangel (1975-1977)
  • Ron Taylor (1977-81)
  • Dr. Rose Robinson (1981-85)
  • Dr. Larry Allen (June-July 1985)
  • Dr. Kay Kuner (1985-87)
  • Fred Dillard (1987-96)
  • Wanda Marks (1996-2011)
  • Janine Fields (2011-13)
  • Cheryl Alexander (2013-14)
  • Sonya Palmer (2014-current)