HP Superintendent Looks Back on First Year

Highland Park ISD superintendent Dr. Tom Trigg’s first year with the district has been eventful. We asked for his thoughts on how it went:

Q: What has been the most surprising part of this first year?
A: Before joining Highland Park ISD, I was aware of the supportive parents and community, but I have to admit that I have been in awe of the actual level of support. It is more than what I could have imagined. From the parents who serve in our lunchrooms every day to the dedicated alumni who pack the campus during the Golden Scots reunion, it truly is amazing how much love and support people have for their schools and how much they are willing to give back.

Q: Did it go as expected?
A: This first year has been better than I expected. The way that this community has embraced my wife, Julie, and me has been remarkable. I am grateful to have a School Board that is visionary and supportive. As I look back, I could not have anticipated this year would be any better than it has been.

Q: What have you accomplished that you’re most proud of?
A: People might expect me to say the bond election, but the truth is I am most proud of the relationships that have been established. I have learned so much by listening to parents, students, teachers, and community members. I enjoy cultivating relationships and I look forward to continuing to build a rapport with the many people invested in this district.

Q: What are you looking forward to this coming year?
A: The district will look at ways to accelerate and continue to build upon the foundation of excellence that has been in place for the last 100 years. I am pleased with the level of achievement in this district, but that does not mean we can become complacent. We will always look for ways to improve and to continue building bright futures for our students. Additionally, we will continue to implement the bond program that was approved by voters last November. It will be exciting to watch as the many facets of the program begin to come to life.

Q: What is a platform or topic you hope to bring to the forefront?
A: The district and its parents have high expectations for our students, but we need to figure out a way to reduce the level of stress on our students. I would love to see a graduating class full of high-achieving and well-rounded students who are able to deal with all facets of life in a mature and thoughtful way.

Q: What have you learned about the district or students that you didn’t know when you accepted the position?
A: I was surprised at how limiting our facilities are for our students and teachers. Our students are producing some amazing results within overcrowded and aging facilities. Thankfully, many of the limitations will be eliminated due to the passage of the 2015 bond election.

Q: What’s the hardest part of your job?
A: I am often pulled in many directions, and it can be challenging to prioritize. Whenever I am feeling overwhelmed, I’ll visit one of our campuses to remind me of the amazing things that our students are accomplishing every day. It puts everything in perspective and reminds me of my primary goal as an educator – to help children succeed.

Q: What is one thing that readers might not know about you?
A: I feel like most people know at this point that I am an unabashed Kansas City Royals baseball fan. The Texas Rangers fans around here will usually cut me some slack since HP graduate Chris Young pitches for the Royals. Most people probably don’t know that I love watching reruns of the Perry Mason television show. I have vivid memories of watching that show as a child with my family, so I enjoy watching an episode when I can.

Q: If you had a vision statement or motto for your term, what would it be?

A: “From Great to Greater.” This district is outstanding and the students are high-achieving, but there is always room for improvement. There are always ways to grow, for every student, teacher, and staff member, and I am grateful for the opportunity to lead this district as we move forward.

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