Two neighborhood principals are leaving their RISD posts for other jobs. Ron Mathews has resigned as principal of Lake Highlands High School to take a job with RISD’s student services department.

And Aikin Elementary School Principal Joyce Bowman is moving to the Allen School District after 21 years with RISD.

In his new job, Mathews will be working with Ted Moulton, director of student services.

“I live by a simple rule – I work hard, I make decisions based upon the facts, and I never look back,” Mathews says. “This is the right decision at the right time.”

Mathews says the strain of working evenings has taken its last toll on his family. As LHHS’ principal for the past six years, Mathews says he has worked an average of 60 hours a week.

“This is a family and professional decision,” Mathews says. “I feel absolutely wonderful about it.”

Mathews will begin his job, which involves assisting district principals with student/parent behavioral problems, in August.

“I’m ready for a change,” Mathews says. “I think my skills can be utilized in this area.”

A 10-person committee comprised of parents and teachers was formed in late May to choose a new principal, says Area Superintendent Dr. Kirk London. A decision is expected later this month.

Superintendent Dr. Carolyn Bukhair says the district is looking for someone who will be an integral part of the Lake Highlands community.

“A high school principal is so critical,” Bukhair says. “They must be a visionary and a strong, strong leader.”

Mathews joined RISD 29 years ago, spending six years as a teacher and 23 years as an administrator.

Thomas Kirk, LHHS’ senior class president, says Mathews was a well-organized principal that knew what he was doing and had many good ideas for the school.

“I have no qualms with him,” Kirk says. “I think he was an excellent principal.”

Mathews says his biggest regret about the job change is “losing contact with the energy of the students.”

Meanwhile, Aikin principal Joyce Bowman is looking forward to her job with the Allen School District after five years as Aikin’s principal.

“They (Allen School District) approached me with a good opportunity that I felt was worth looking at,” Bowman says.

Bowman will become principal of Boyd Elementary and will begin work in mid-June. Boyd Elementary is about the same size as Aikin, which has about 600 students enrolled, Bowman says.

Bowman previously worked at White Rock, Prestonwood and Forestridge Elementaries.

“I have real strong emotions for Aikin – it’s a wonderful school, and it’s been a wonderful growing experience for me,” Bowman says.