Kerri Jones (top) and LHJH’s Carrie Breedlove. Jones will become the new principal at LHHS.

Forest Meadow Junior High Principal Kerri Jones has been hired as principal at Lake Highlands High. Dr. Joshua Delich, who served two years at LHHS, announced his departure last week to become assistant superintendent of Saint Paul Public Schools in his home state of Minnesota.

Jones will bring FMJH Assistant Principal Casey Gray with her to continue that role at LHHS. The two started at FMJH together in 2006 – Jones as an assistant principal and Gray as a teacher and coach.

Matthew Morris, LHHS AVID Coordinator, will also become an assistant principal at LHHS. Morris has won awards (and hearts) directing the school’s Advancement Via Individual Determination program.

Merriman Park Elementary’s Susan Burt will follow Jones as principal at Forest Meadow. A reflector committee will provide input to RISD officials as they seek a new MPE principal.

When Advocate featured Jones and Lake Highlands Junior High principal Carrie Breedlove in April, Jones said the two have worked intentionally to help competing students from opposite sides of the neighborhood come together as friends and teammates before they reach LHHS.

“We tell them you are all going to be together unless you go to the magnet,” said Jones. “You know each other from club sports and church and Young Life and other activities. You can even see them on the court talking during the game, and their parents are talking, too. It’s a good, healthy rivalry – a healthy competition.”

“The beauty of Lake Highlands,” Jones added, “is that the community supports all kids.”

Last October, Burt welcomed neighborhood stakeholders to become MPE “Principal for a Day” and said it was important for parents and others to feel comfortable inside the building.

“We want to build relationships with the community and have them come in and see the amazing things happening inside,” said Burt. “It’s my goal to make the community feel welcome. We have very strict security guidelines that we adhere to, and people understand that as long as we communicate.”

Morris was profiled in Advocate Magazine’s April edition, where he expressed his love for students at LHHS – all students.

“I always say Lake Highlands High School is the perfect place to change the world. It’s a beautiful mix of traditional and innovative, poor and wealthy, family and isolation. Black, white, Hispanic, Asian. It’s the perfect opportunity to change the world. My daily question is: Are we doing it?”

Susan Burt (bottom left) and other LH-area principals serve at the Lake Highlands Women’s League home tour luncheon

Matthew Morris. Photo by Danny Fulgencio