Longtime Christopher Columbus H.S. Educator, Principal Set to Retire

One of Christopher Columbus High School’s longest serving educators has announced that she will putting the chalk down for good.

Estelle Hans, after decades of work in the Columbus Educational Campus as a student, teacher and principal, has decided it’s time to retire.

Hans, 66, began as a math teacher at CCHS in 1965 and continued there until 1975 when she put her career on hold to raise a family.

Once her children were old enough, Hans returned to the school in 1988 and once again taught math until 2003 when she was named principal of the new Collegiate Institute for Math and Science within the school building.

In 2004, CCHS was broken down into the Christopher Columbus Educational Campus, where four smaller schools were carved out, including CIMS.

As the first and only principal that CIMS has had since its entrance into the campus, Hans knew it was time to pass the baton.

“I am glad to have had this opportunity to help these students reach their maximum potential,” said Hans, also a class of ‘62 alumnus. “This was certainly a great run. All my years as a teacher I always had visions to make changes in students lives and I hope that I have made an impact that will continue on here at the school.”

CIMS, which currently has an enrollment of approximately 500 students. grades nine through 12, was developed through a proposal written by Hans, wjp was named principal when the new school was approved by the Department of Education.

Hans’ retirement will go into effect at the end of this academic year. Saddened by the news was one of her former student, CCHS class of 1973 Councilman Jimmy Vacca, who took 11th grade trigonometry with then Ms. Mendelson.

Since Vacca was elected to serve the City Council in 2005, he has helped CIMS, along with the other schools on the campus, by allocating over $1.5 million to refurbish the school’s cafeteria and library, among other things.

“When I first became councilman, I was brought onto the Columbus campus to meet with all of the principals and I saw someone who I recognized as my former math teacher, Ms. Mendelson,” Vacca said. “I had no idea she was a principal at CIMS but I knew she was deserving of the position because of how wonderful a teacher she was. She was always there for her students and she continued that even as principal of a new school.”

A new principal has not been selected to fill Hans’ shoes, but she believes CIMS will be in good hands once a new one is selected.

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