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New Principals Join HHS Family

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For any person coming to a new school for the first time, it’s always difficult to adjust. Whether this person be a student, teacher or principal. This school year we are privileged to introduce two new members of the Highlands High School staff, Ms. Kimberly Price and Mr. Dan Gottron, who have joined the staff this year as the new assistant principals. These two individuals have already made a tremendous impact on the student body and will continue to do so. I wanted to know a little more about the principal and how Ms. Price came to Highlands, so here are a few questions I had for her.  

  • Where did you graduate college?

~I graduated with my bachelor’s in music education at Stetson University in Florida. I then earned my master’s in music education at Carnegie Mellon University, where I focused on developmental psychology and research in education. My master’s thesis was a literature review on characteristics of effective K-12 principal leadership. I am currently working on my dissertation at the University of Pittsburgh. I hope to finish in the spring with a Doctorate in Education, an Ed.D.

  • Why did you choose Highlands High School?

~Highlands is one of the most community focused, deep-rooted places I have ever seen. People who graduated from Highlands still live in Highlands and their grandchildren now go to school. That kind of pride and heart is not as common as you might think, and I was looking for a place like this. I love it here. Your friendships, your families, your teachers and your community make it a place I hope to stay for the rest of my career. Folks care about each other here. If we want to thrive, that’s the place we need to start.

  • Is there anything specific that you like about this school?

~I love the honest responses people share here. When we ask what people need, most folks tell us–students, teachers, and parents. I love the pride students and families share, even if they are frustrated. The way the stands are full for football games, the smiles during the pep band performances or soccer games, even people saying hello in the hallways all make me love it here. The symbols of the Highlands H (home, school & community) and RAMS really hit home, too. The teachers are working so hard for the students, all the time. I love it here (and having a pool for morning workouts is pretty nice, too)!

  • Where did the saying “why not us, why not now” come from? And why do you believe that saying will have an impact on students?

~ Mr. Gottron was watching a video in his apartment before school started, and that phrase was one he saw in the Miami Heat basketball team documentary. It may be a strange beginning, but it planted a seed in his mind that quickly spread across our school. I think the saying will affect (and has affected) our students for two reasons: first, it reminds us of the very real, very simple hope that we have to take a hold of. We really can blow it out of the water right now! This year! The second reason is this: if someone has a “why not,” both Mr. Gottron and I want to hear about it and see how we can work together to find a way through it. There is always a way. It just takes working together to find it.

  • Is it a goal of yours to know everyone’s name in this school? If so, why?

~ Absolutely! There are almost 800 amazing young people on campus, with your own stories, ideas, history and hopes. My job is to support you as you grow into the adults you want to be. How else can I do that but to get to know you and care about you personally, as much as I can? Really, you, your teachers, and your families are doing all of that work, but it sure is a joy to get to take care of things behind the scenes to make your high school years be a springboard for an amazing future.

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New Principals Join HHS Family