Two current HPISD principals have been selected to lead McCulloch Intermediate School and Highland Park Middle School. Dr. Skip Moran, the principal at Armstrong Elementary, has been named principal at MIS (grades 5 and 6) and Hyer Elementary Principal Jeremy Gilbert has been selected as the principal at HPMS (grades 7 and 8).
"Skip Moran and Jeremy Gilbert have been outstanding principals at their respective campuses. They are both beloved and respected," HPISD Superintendent Dr. Tom Trigg said. "Having both of them provide leadership to these two schools will benefit students and staff at each campus. Each leader has his own unique strengths and, as colleagues, they complement each other very well."
Dr. Moran and Mr. Gilbert will take over for Dr. Laurie Hitzelberger, who announced her retirement after serving as the sole principal at both campuses for the last 14 years.
"Dr. Hitzelberger has done a magnificent job running two schools with a combined student population of more than 2,200 students," Dr. Trigg said. "During this selection process, it made sense to revisit the leadership structure for each campus. I believe we are getting the best of both worlds by selecting two excellent principals to lead these schools."
"I have had the privilege of working with both Dr. Moran and Mr. Gilbert for more than ten years, and I am thrilled that MIS and HPMS will be in such capable hands for the future," Dr. Hitzelberger said. "The three of us will be working closely together over the next few weeks to ensure a smooth transition for our students, staff and families."
Dr. Moran majored in politics at Rollins College, earned a master's degree in Political Theory from the University of Essex, a Master of Divinity from Yale University and a doctorate in Educational Administration from Columbia University. He started his career as an AP History teacher at HPHS in 1996.
Dr. Moran served as an assistant principal at MIS/HPMS from 2005 until 2011, when he was named the principal at Armstrong. In addition to HPISD, he has been an adjunct instructor at SMU since 2009, teaching master's degree courses in educational leadership.
"It has been my great privilege to serve as the 10th principal in the 104-year history of Armstrong Elementary," Dr. Moran said. "It will be difficult to leave Armstrong, but I am excited and grateful for the opportunity to work with the MIS staff, parents and, most importantly, every fifth- and sixth-grade student."
Gilbert is a graduate of Texas A&M University and earned his master's in Education Administration from the University of North Texas. He began his career in 1998 as an elementary school teacher in Richardson ISD, became an assistant principal in 2002, then became a principal for Wallace Elementary, a K-6 school, in 2004. He was selected in 2008 to be the principal at Hyer Elementary.
"For the past decade, Hyer Elementary has served as my school home," Gilbert said. "In my time here I have had the distinct pleasure of serving one of the most amazing learning communities that I have ever known. I know that with the help of our supportive parents, the dedication of our talented teachers and the unmatched spirit of our amazing students, Hyer will always be a tremendous school. While it will be extremely difficult to say good-bye to Hyer Elementary, I am equally as excited for the opportunity that awaits me at HPMS."
The changes in leadership at both the Armstrong and Hyer campuses come at a challenging time, since Armstrong is receiving extensive renovations this summer and Hyer is moving to the new elementary school campus while both Bradfield and Hyer are rebuilt.
"There are rarely perfect times for personnel changes, particularly ones of this magnitude, in a district the size of HPISD," Dr. Trigg said. "A search for new principals at both Armstrong and Hyer will begin immediately, but I am also confident that both Dr. Moran and Mr. Gilbert will do everything in their power to assist their campuses, both in ensuring that Armstrong and Hyer get situated over the summer, and in helping with the transition of leadership."
Dr. Moran and Mr. Gilbert officially begin their new roles July 1.
All information taken from Highland Park Independent School District's Newsletter