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Storied past, bright future

Taylor Porter, News Editor

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“Great schools have things in common: having a student body that’s excited about being at their school, parents who are interested and supports what happens in this school and staff with high expectations,” Jerry Lee Anderson said.

Anderson will begin here as principal for the 2017-18 school year.

She began her teaching journey in South American where she picked up on her Spanish and gained many life lessons.

“My first job as a teacher was in Asuncion, Paraguay, the “Corazón del Sur América” or ‘the heart of South America,” Anderson said. “It makes you stop and think about how culture influences everything you do, how we communicate, our expectations.”

She said her international experiences taught her how heavily humans are influenced by our culture.

“It’s not just about the learning of reading and writing and math, but it’s about how we receive it, how we’re prepared to receive it and how is it reflected in our culture,” Anderson said.

She currently works at Monarch High School in Colorado.

One of her current projects at Monarch is a program in which students can earn their high school diploma and associates degree simultaneously, at no cost.

“In Colorado the way our system is set up with secondary education, it doesn’t cost you a dime,” she said. “All you have to do is go to class, do a good job. Students might choose to buy books, but nothing compared to what they pay for college tuition.”

On March 12, students and parents gathered in the library for a two-hour meet and greet with Anderson.

Parent Paul Miller said Anderson’s qualifications excite him the most.

“I’m super excited. I’ve read about her and she seems like she’s amazing. She’s highly qualified and her background in H-F is important because she knows our community and our kids,” Miller said.

Miller isn’t alone in his thinking. Junior Jalen Spain, student government’s junior class activity chair, agreed.

“The meet and greet had a great turn out and Dr. Anderson seems to be a very intelligent woman who’s more than qualified to be a very successful principal here,” Spain said.

Though Anderson has had a past history at H-F, she is looking forward to observing the school before making any changes.

“Before I do anything and change this and that, I need to get in here and see what you need. I don’t want to do something just to do it, I want to do something that’s going to make a significant difference, and that’s going to matter,” she said.

Director of Operations Thomas Wagner said he’s familiar with Anderson’s work and is even more impressed than he was before.

“She’s going to connect well with the students and staff, like before and do a phenomenal job,” he said.
Anderson will assume the role as principal following the termination of Ryan Pitcock’s back in 2016.

The controversial termination of Pitcock led to some discord between the H-F community and the school board. Anderson said that though she didn’t know the intricacies of what happened, we can’t let it divide us.

“A united community is much more powerful than a divided community and if we take our time and focus on our students, we can do anything together,” she said.

 

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Storied past, bright future