Richardson ISD’s Excellence in Education Foundation has announced its 2018 Principals of the Year, and both are Lake Highlands favorites. Bill Gallo was principal at the Lake Highlands Freshman Center before the school merged into LHHS, and he now leads Memorial Park Academy, the district’s non-traditional school for students who’ve been thrown off track by illness, pregnancy or other life hardship, or need to accelerate graduation and get to work. Gallo was named Secondary Principal of the Year. Northlake’s Mary Kellagher was honored as Elementary Principal of the Year.
Students don’t graduate from Memorial Park Academy (they earn a diploma from their home school), and much of their instruction and test-taking occurs online, but that doesn’t mean they don’t develop affection and appreciation for their principal and head cheerleader, Bill Gallo. If you want a frequent dose of the feel-goods, follow @billgallo2 on Twitter. He posts photos of each graduate in their cap and gown as they finish, often with a favorite teacher and always with a word of praise. About 212 MPA students graduated during the last school year and about 200 are enrolled at any one time.
When Mary Kellagher got the job as principal of Northlake Elementary in 2013, the former Skyview assistant principal said her favorite Lake Highlands hangout was Highlands Café. A few things have changed since then, but not her rock star popularity with students, parents and teachers alike. Funny, when we featured her back then, she said she “only went [to the principal’s office] once in the eighth grade and I was scared to death.” Turns out the principal had called her in to phone her father and give her praise. Today, students are drawn to Principal Kellagher like a magnet, showering her with hugs and sharing tales of their day.
Congratulations to these RISD honorees.