Wild for Cats committee unveils donor board

Walter Kelly (front row, red tie) helps unveil the Wild for Cats donor board in May

It’s official. At 5:38 pm tonight, Walter Kelly was elected principal of Highland Park High School by the HPISD Board of Trustees.

“We were looking for a person with administrative leadership and vision,” said Leslie Melson, President of the HP School Board, “someone who can really connect with both the staff and the student body. We had several focus groups to allow staff and students to envision the type of leadership bust suited to HPHS. Their number one feature was engagement, and that plays to Mr. Kelly’s strength.”

“Walter is a perfect fit,” said Jeremy Gilbert, who was principal at Wallace before being recruited away to HP’s Hyer Elementary. “He is an uber-intellectual – a really smart guy able to do great things. HP is different. We have time to look up and do some forward planning. Walter is a pro at creating an excellent learning opportunity for kids.”

“I wasn’t looking,” Mr. Kelly told me, “but when I was approached about the job 3 weeks ago I wasn’t shutting the door. I’m excited about the new opportunity, but it will be tough leaving Lake Highlands.”

“I like the cross-pollination between LH and HP,” said Melson, whose grown son lives in LH. “Walter fits our vision for 21st century leadership for the school. Our motto is ‘Enter to learn, go forth to serve,’ and Walter personifies that.”

Following the closed session to discuss employment and the open session board vote, the meeting was adjourned to permit the residents of HP to meet and greet Kelly and his wife, Jill. Mr. Kelly will spend June wrapping things up at LHHS before his term at HPHS begins on July 1.