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Hilsman Middle School is pictured on Gaines School Road in Athens, Georgia, on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021. (Photo/Jessica Gratigny; @jgratphoto)

Cappy Douglass, principal of Hilsman Middle School on Gaines School Road, resigned on Monday, according to a letter sent by Douglass. In the letter, Douglass said she accepted a position closer to her home. 

Douglass highlighted many improvements in the school from the work of various leadership teams with designated purposes. She said the school has seen a 56% decrease in behavior referrals, and decreases in both out-of-school and in-school suspensions, Douglass wrote in the letter. 

She further reported that teacher and paraprofessional attendance has improved by 39%, student absences are down by 4.4% and 84% of students are passing all core classes. Douglass praised Superintendent Robbie Hooker and said the school is on track to meet its school improvement goals for the year, according to the letter. 

“While there is work to be done, Hilsman is on the path to excellence and will continue to move in the right direction. I am honored and humbled by all we have achieved, together, and I am thankful beyond measure,” Douglass wrote. 

Nick Hussain, who formerly served as assistant principal,will be the interim principal starting Feb. 24. Randall Watkins, who teaches seventh grade at the school, will move into the position of interim assistant principal, according to the letter. 

The Local School Governance Team will work with district leadership to find a principal, Douglass wrote in the letter. 

“Thank you for four years of continued support, love, and encouragement! Thank you for allowing me to serve our beautiful, brilliant, and powerful students!” Douglass wrote.