Maskel to retire from The Hill Center

Feb. 20, 2013 @ 08:30 PM

Shary Maskel, executive director of The Hill Center for 27 years, will step down at the end of the 2013-14 school year.

The announcement came Thursday in a news release from Michelle Orvis, associate director of development at the center.

In 1977, while Maskel was a Duke University doctoral student and part-time Hill teacher, she was asked by school founder George Watts Hill to develop a curriculum based on techniques she used as a reading specialist in Florida.

“I could never have dreamed then that our Hill methodology would evolve into such a successful research-based program, thanks to the ongoing efforts of our talented faculty and staff, who have worked tirelessly over the past 35 years to incorporate evidence-based practices into our curriculum,” Maskel said. “It became my life’s passion.”

During her tenure, she led the expansion of the center from a small yellow house on Pickett Road to a bigger building across the street that could accommodate as many as 180 students. The center also added the Kirby-Horton Teacher Training Center, through which they’ve trained more than 10,000 educators from 80-plus North Carolina counties.

“Although it is hard to imagine The Hill Center without Shary Maskel, change is a natural part of the evolution of a school,” said Allison Haltom McClay, chair of the board of directors. “This leadership transition offers The Hill Center the opportunity to think about the future and the next generation of leadership.”

The board and search committee will spend the next 18 months hunting for Maskel’s replacement.