East Chapel Hill High School
is a public high school in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It is the second high school of the Chapel
Hill-Carrboro City Schools district which contains two other high
schools, Chapel Hill High School and Carrboro High School.
The school's principal is Eileen Tully, and
the mascot is the Wildcat
. East holds
multiple 3A and 4A championships and is home to many award-winning
extracurricular groups, particularly the two student-run a cappella
groups, the Chiefs of Staff and the Alley Cats, and the East Chapel
Hill Speech and Debate team. Many of its students take Advanced Placement
(AP) courses. East
Chapel Hill High School is currently the 77th ranked public high
school according to US News and World Report, the highest ranked
standard public high school in North Carolina.
This is a highly competitive school in which the students typically
score above the national average on standardized tests. In the 2002
school year the median weighted GPA was 3.56, and the median SAT
score was 1181 compared to the state average of 1001. Also, 313
students participated in Advanced Placement (AP) examinations with
53% of all scores above a 3. 
There are typically 15-25 National
Merit Scholar Semi-Finalists in a graduating class at East.
Negative effects of the intense academic atmosphere include
considerable student stress
According to 2002-2004 school statistics, 63% of the school's
student body is white, 18% is African
, 5% is Hispanic
, and 14% is
. 52% of the student body is male
and 48％ is female. For this time period, out of a total of 1706
students 30% (513 students) was in the 9th grade, 24.6% (421
students) was in the 10th grade, 25% (426) was in the 11th grade
and 20.3% (346 students) was in the 12th grade. There were a total
of 69 teachers making for a 1:25 ratio of teachers to students.
Athletic programs make up a large part of student life at East, and
East's teams have been highly competitive and successful every year
since the school's inception in 1996. East fields teams in sports
across the board. Fall sports include: football
, men's soccer
, women's golf
and men's and women's cross
. Winter sports include: men's and women's swimming
men's and women's basketball
, cheerleading, and Men's and Women's
Indoor Track and Field. Spring sports include men's tennis,
men's and women's track &
, men's golf, women's soccer, and men's and women's
. Since 1996, East teams have won
many NC state, regional, conference, and individual championships.
As of Fall 2004, East's women's tennis team had won 7 3A State
Championships in a row. In the spring of 2008 the men's tennis team
won the 4A state championships. The rugby team, though a club, has
won 4 straight State High School Championships. They won the 2009
USA Southern High School Championship. They also made an appearance
at the National High School Championships in 2005, and 2009. They
are currently ranked 7th in the nation (2009). The general
consensus is that East is particularly skilled in Tennis, Track and
Field, Cross-Country, Lacrosse, Rugby, Swimming and Diving, and
Field Hockey, although many teams at East have been quite
Traditions and Icons
East's fight song
was composed by current
Band and Orchestra teacher, Ryan Ellefsen. To the tune of
University's fight song, the lyrics are :
Go, go you Wildcats,
Go East Chapel Hill!
We, your loyal sons and daughters
proudly do your will
Go, go you Wildcats,
Fight on for her fame!
We shall not yield as we take the field,
We will fight to win this game!
For the first 13 years of East Chapel Hill High School's existence,
Dave Thaden was the principal. He was known for his likeable
personality, great leadership, and unique connection with the
school community. Dave Thaden retired on June 30, 2009. He was
replaced by Eileen Tully. 
Also notable is the school's rivalry to nearby Chapel Hill High School
Students on both sides of this rivalry
feel adamantly about the strength of their school, triggering "Beat
CHHS" t-shirts sported by many members of the student body.
An unofficial tradition of East Chapel Hill High is to throw around
a balloon or various beach balls at the graduation ceremony.
Traditionally, a balloon in the shape of some fruit or animal is
kept in the air by the taps of the graduating students while they
are seated, listening to various speeches. This tradition is less
warmly endorsed by faculty and staff than it is by the student
An event known as SpringFest is held every spring on East's campus.
It consists of three short, nontraditional classes in the morning
given by parents, students, teachers, and community members with
special interests (wheel-throwing, song-writing, improv comedy,
dodgeball, etc), and an outdoor festival in the afternoon, during
which most students relax on The Hill, enjoying student bands, and
eating food such as freshly-made pasta, Chinese, and Dippin Dots
. The date is traditionally meant to
be kept a secret by the faculty and staff in order to prevent
students skipping, but the date is usually leaked to the student
body as a result of test dates being moved because of it.
Proposals for the creation of an alumni association for East began
in Fall of 2007. These efforts took off in 2009 with the drafting
of organizational bylaws, the creation of a Board of Directors, and
the launching of a new website. 
- On April 24, 2006,
eighteen-year-old student W.B. Foster held both teacher Lisa Kukla,
and a student hostage with a shotgun, a hunting knife, and a
pistol. After more than an hour, Lisa Kukla was able to talk Foster
out of harming her or the student. Instead, Foster fired a shot
through the window and fled, but was later turned in to the police.
It's unknown why Foster held those two hostage, since he was never
taught by Kukla, and didn't seem to know the student. In June 2007,
Foster was sentenced to five years of probation, because his
attorneys claimed he had schizophrenia. 
July 2006, a junior at East Chapel Hill High School, Arnavv
Tripathy, won a gold medal at the International Mathematical
Olympiad in Slovenia. He
was one of the two members on the U.S. squad that won gold medals.
Competing in a field of 498 students from 90 countries, Tripathy
helped the U.S. team finish fifth overall. Tripathy also has been
enrolled in undergraduate level math
courses at UNC since 9th grade, and has been enrolled in graduate level math courses at UNC since
11th grade. During the qualification for the IMO, Arnav
Tripathy scored 150/150 on the AMC 12. He then scored a
14/15 on the AIME
examination. He then won the USAMO,
qualifying for the IMO. He then returned to the IMO in 2007, where
he won a silver medal, one of three Americans to do so.
- In November 2007, an investigation began after the Orange
County Department of Social Services reported that an East Chapel
Hill High School teacher may have been having sexual relations with
a student at the school.
- In February 2009, assistant principal, Gloria Woods-Weeks was
named the 2009 North Carolina Assistant Principal of the Year by
the N.C. Principals and Assistant Principals Association. Ms.
Woods-Weeks left at the end of the 2008-2009 school year to become
the principal of the Holton Career Center in Durham Public Schools.