Kress named assistant principal at Heritage Hills



LINCOLN CITY — Kate Kress of Lamar knew she wanted to be an educator when she was in kindergarten.

The daughter of Ralph and Elaine Miller, Kress grew up in St. Anthony. Since Elaine was a teacher, Kress grew up watching her mom grade papers, plan lessons and form lasting bonds with her students. Kress decided it was a career she wanted for herself as well, and for the last 14 years, she’s made that dream a reality teaching at David Turnham Educational Center in Dale. Now, Kress is taking the next step in her career. At the North Spencer School Board meeting last week, the board appointed Kress assistant principal of Heritage Hills High School.

“I feel really excited and humbled at this opportunity,” Kress said.

Kress graduated from Forest Park Junior-Senior High School in 2001 and pursued a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and special education from Oakland City University. After undergrad, she taught for a year at Throop Elementary School in Paoli, but knew she wanted to come back and teach closer to where she grew up.

“I like the community atmosphere,” Kress said of the area. “People know their neighbors, and we treat each other like family.”

In 2006, she took a job teaching special education at David Turnham. It was a homecoming on two fronts. First, she was back in the area where she grew up, and second, she was teaching in the North Spencer School Corporation, the same corporation her mother taught in for many years.

In 2008, Kress graduated from her master’s program at Ball State University with a master’s in elementary education with a focus on reading and literacy instruction. That same year, she switched from teaching special education at David Turnham to teaching third grade, and she has taught third grade since.

For Kress, education is all about making connections with students and trying to have a positive impact on their lives. She keeps in touch with her students after they leave her classroom, and it’s common to see her and her family — husband Adam and children Carter, 11, Iyla, 8 and Camden, 7 — at Heritage Hills sports games cheering on some of Kate’s former students.

Although she’s loved her years in elementary education, when the assistant principal position opened at Heritage Hills after Principal Nick Alcorn announced his retirement and current Assistant Principal Jeff Cochren was appointed to take over the role, Kate knew she wanted to fill the vacancy.

“I know it’s going to be an adjustment,” she said. “But I’m excited to be involved in classroom leadership and able to connect with students and teachers.”

As assistant principal, she will get to use her passion for teaching and instruction in new ways, and she looks forward to being a support for teachers and students at Heritage Hills.

“Heritage Hills has a great reputation already, but we’re always looking for ways to improve,” she said.

Kate will finish this school year teaching her third grade class at David Turnham, then move to the high school at the beginning of the 2020-21 school year.

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