I continue to be honored and excited to be a member of the Highland Middle School Family.
As your principal, I look forward each day to strengthening the relationships that I have with all of our wonderful students, families, teachers, and talented staff. Prior to taking on the role of principal, I served as the assistant principal for five years here at Highland Middle School. Before arriving in Libertyville, I was a junior high dean of students in Skokie, Il. I also have taught social studies and reading at the middle school level, and I have taught fifth grade.
Beyond the rigors of their academic program, it is our aim to instill within each of the 748 students, the essential principles of pride, respect, and responsibility so that they will become productive and contributing “Class Act” members of our increasingly global society.
High expectations, which have been established by our qualified and dedicated staff, will be maintained while also providing a safe and nurturing student-centered community that fosters respect for individual differences. With this in mind, Highland's learning community continues to strive to exceed expectations. As evidence of this, Highland has been recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence twice, once in 1990, and again in 2010. In 2015, 2018, & 2022 Highland was recognized by the Association of Middle Grade Schools (AIMS) as an Illinois Horizon School to Watch. Also in 2015, 2018 & 2022, Highland was recognized at the national level by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform as a National School to Watch.
I am also very excited about working with the active and involved parents that help to make Highland a wonderful place for our students to learn and grow. I look forward to doing whatever I can to support their efforts and encourage you to become a member of the Highland Family Association. Volunteering and participating at various events throughout the school year also will benefit not only your child, but all of the children at Highland.
As principal, I have many opportunities to serve our students, families, and faculty. If you are ever in need of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Highland Middle School is comprised of the 778 sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-graders engaged with a teaching and support staff committed to meeting students' academic and social-emotional needs.
Facilitating the transition from elementary to middle school, the sixth grade academic teams are concentrated in a separate wing of the building. Seventh and eighth grade students attend classes grouped by content areas and grade level to allow for students and teachers to utilize interdisciplinary connections.
The day-to-day culture of the learning community includes students being encouraged to be self-directed learners, have good character, and take ownership of their education. Courses in math, language arts and literature, science and social studies make up the educational core, while international language, music, art, fill in for fine arts. Opportunities to self-advocate are plentiful between a variety of extra curricular clubs and activities, including both intramural and team sports. Highland students experience learning that prepares them to live and work in the 21st Century.
Due to a population boom in Libertyville, Highland Upper Grade Center was built in 1949. Originally, the school housed seventh through eighth graders. In 1954, six classrooms were added and in 1971, a learning center was developed in the school. The school, which has once accommodated almost 1,000 students , eventually switched to a middle school setting of sixth, seventh and eighth grades.
Despite its age, Highland has been redesigned for 21st century classrooms.
The more than 70-year-old building now hosts STEAM classrooms to create an environment that incorporates technology to facilitate learning, in conjunction with being arranged in such a way as to encourage student communication and team collaboration. From additions to renovations, the Highland Middle School we know today is a true 21st century school. About 920 middle school students make up Highland's learning community.
"Highland Students are a Class Act," is Highland's motto and character philosophy which reflects the day-to-day culture of our learning community. Students are encouraged to be self-directed learners, have good character, and take ownership of their education. Opportunities to self-advocate are plentiful and many of our students voluntarily come early or stay late to acquire assistance or complete their work. As an extension of self directed learning, our mission is to ensure that Highland students experience learning that prepares them to live and work in the 21st Century. By incorporating the Applications of Learning in their every day life at Highland, every member of our learning community is a stakeholder in successfully accomplishing this mission.
As the only middle school of District 70, meeting the high expectations of the community is a challenge that has motivated the Highland staff and students throughout the years. The community members of District 70 value education and understand its worth as necessary to helping students become successful and productive members of their community. Due to this understanding, the community and families of the district have always supported Highland Middle School in its academic endeavors. Highland's close ties with the community and families of the school is exemplified through Highland's Family Association (HFA). Through service projects in classrooms to community connections through the HFA, Highland's commitment to connecting with its community is prevalent everyday. Highland Middle School's strengths and accomplishments illustrate our pledge to our students and the Libertyville community.
Highland maintains a tradition of excellence. Not content to be complacent with past successes, Highland's learning community continues to strive to exceed expectations. As evidence of this, Highland has been recognized as a U.S. Department of Education National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence twice, most recently in 2010, and for the first time 1990. In 2018 & 2015, Highland was recognized by the Association of Middle Grade Schools (AIMS) as an Illinois Horizon School to Watch. Also in 2018 & 2015, Highland was recognized at the national level by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform as a National School to Watch. Highland offers many clubs and organizations that meet before, during, and after school, so that every student has an opportunity to be involved and connect with their peers. In addition, each sports season, there is at least one no cut sport, so that all students have an opportunity to participate. Students can find Highland's mascot, Harry the Hornet, at many of our home athletic events.
District 70 Mission: Empower student growth and achievement through equitable, challenging opportunities that promote excellence, innovation, critical thinking, and respect.
Registration for new students and for returning students will open for both on Feb. 2.
For new students, begin on the D70 website (d70schools.org) under Departments to Student Registration. Click on “New Kindergarten & New Student Registration” and begin filling out forms, starting with Preregistration.