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Riley Heruska
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Following a distinguished 32-year career in education, McCulloch Intermediate School and Highland Park Middle School principal Dr. Laurie Hitzelberger announced her retirement yesterday, effective at the end of this school year. Hitzelberger has been principal at MIS since 2003 and at HPMS since 2005.
 
"While I look forward to this next chapter in my life, I will deeply miss the wonderful students, dedicated teachers, and the incredibly supportive parents of HPISD," said Hitzelberger. "It has been a privilege to be a part of this exceptional school community. Seeing students enter as wide-eyed fifth graders and leaving as confident eighth-grade students, ready for high school, is something that has always given me immense joy. I am proud to be a part of a community that supports its schools like no other, and I have no doubt that the new leadership will continue the tradition of excellence."
 
Under Dr. Hitzelberger's leadership at HPISD, HPMS was designated a National Blue Ribbon School, both schools earned top state ratings, and in 2017, MIS/HPMS was awarded state recognition as a School Transforming Learning. Hitzelberger was selected by Raise Your Hand Texas as one of the first principals in Texas to receive a paid scholarship to the Harvard Principals Academy. She was also selected as one of the first principals in Texas to participate in the Principals Visioning Institute. 

Highland Park ISD Superintendent Dr. Tom Trigg praised Hitzelberger for her leadership.

"Dr. Hitzelberger has done an outstanding job at our MIS and HPMS campuses during the last 15 years and she will be greatly missed," said Trigg. "Her leadership and dedication to students and teachers is second to none. We are thankful for her service and the tradition of excellence she has instilled at MIS and HPMS. We wish her the very best in her retirement."
               
Hitzelberger joined Highland Park ISD after serving in grades K-9 as a principal, curriculum specialist, GT specialist and teacher at Ector County ISD.

*Text and information provided by Highland Park Independent School District