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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

home : latest news : latest news January 24, 2015

4/2/2013 11:06:00 PM
Board names Hillig PHS principal
Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier
Newly appointed Prescott High School Principal Stephanie Hillig talks to students at Granite Mountain Middle School.
Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier
Newly appointed Prescott High School Principal Stephanie Hillig talks to students at Granite Mountain Middle School.

The Prescott Unified School District Governing Board approved Stephanie Hillig as the new principal of Prescott High School at its meeting Tuesday night.

The search for a new principal began when Totsy McCraley, current PHS principal, said she would retire at the end of this school year.

"Mrs. Stephanie Hillig has done an outstanding job at Granite Mountain Middle School," Superintendent Dave Smucker said. "Her strengths are in curriculum, instruction, developing relationships and moving schools forward."

The vote was 3-1 with Board President Maureen Erickson the only nay vote.

"Congratulations, Mrs. Hillig on becoming the new principal of the high school," Erickson said. "I sincerely wish you much success as you collaborate with the school administration, the teachers and the students moving Prescott High School from a good school to a great school."

At the end of the meeting, principals Brian Moore, Teresa Bruso, Jeff Lane, Jim Wells and Rosemary Agneessens, Smucker, and Assistant Superintendent Joe Howard congratulated Hillig.

"We've got your back," Washington Traditional School Principal Harold Tenney said.

Then Facilities Director Jay Collier gave Hillig a hug.

"I'm very excited to start," Hillig said. "The first thing we're going to be looking at is technology. It's huge for me, and something I'm pretty passionate about."

Whether it's a school-provided device or the students' own devices, they need to know how to use that technology before they go on to junior college, university or the workforce, Hillig said.

"It's so important we teach them how to appropriately use technology now and etiquette, or that could become a problem for them, even while they're in a part-time job in high school," Hillig said.

Hillig said she's started looking at necessary software and hardware and is working on policies with Technology Director Chris Igel.

"I think we have an excellent jump on it, and we're going down to Paradise Valley on Thursday to learn more," Hillig said.

Hillig, Igel and Smucker will learn more about how Paradise Valley Unified School District's bond committee developed technology priorities, and used proceeds from a successful bond election.

"Everywhere we go, technology is the big issue," Smucker said.

Many people ask if Hillig is ready to make the jump from middle school to high school, but few in Prescott know of her experience at the high school level in Marana, Ariz., before becoming principal at Granite Mountain Middle School seven years ago.

"That's where I started my career," Hillig said. "My degree is in secondary math, so I taught high school math for years, coached at the high school level and was the high school student council advisor. When I went into administration, in Marana that was also at the secondary level."

Hillig said she'll meet department chairs at the high school with McCraley on Wednesday.

"Totsy's making this transition just great," Hillig said. "I already met some student groups yesterday, and I'm going to continue to do that. Teachers are emailing me, so we have communication already going on with the staff."

Hillig said she knows many Prescott High School students because of her work and her children being active in local sports and clubs.

In a March 22 announcement, Smucker announced that Hillig was his choice to succeed McCraley, noting at the time the appointment would have to be approved by the board.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, April 05, 2013
Article comment by: Glad You Are RETIRED

So all the meetings by the hiring committees pointed to one other candidate and PUSD choose this person. Why involve everyone if they intended to hire whomever they wanted? Why waste people's time like that to hire someone completely incompetent? I'm not bitter any more than a degree in English will lead you to a prosperous job. Tell me, what JOBS do you get with an English degree? Oh yeah - ONE. A TEACHER. Not such a great career choice any more. Not bitter here - but critical of the adults in this FAILED process. Logic? Coherence? Tell me how PUSD instituted EITHER in the hiring of a candidate that was neither recommended nor qualified? You would have to be a complete moron to follow that logic - or a good old boy. Which is it?

Posted: Thursday, April 04, 2013
Article comment by: Retired Teacher

To "Complete Travesty..."
Teaching English is not a "fluff job"!
Been there, done that. I know.

You sound like a bitter, judgmental person, and your comment lacks logic and coherence.

Quit complaining and get a life!

Posted: Thursday, April 04, 2013
Article comment by: Flying Blind Not Wise

Ignore the comments made by concerned community members? What kind of advice is THAT? For the truly helpless, I guess. Everyone has their opinions and if you only listen to the positive, you won't know how to improve. That's the problem with BABY BOOMERS who try to give out advice - they are lost in today's online world and would rather bury their heads in the sand than listen to the harsh truth or even the true reality. If you were a poor leader of middle school kids, you will continue to be a POOR leader of high school kids, The end.

Posted: Thursday, April 04, 2013
Article comment by: Veritas Semper

I've heard nothing but great reviews about Ms. Hillig form those that have dealt with her. Now the outgoing principle at PHS...that's another story..

Posted: Thursday, April 04, 2013
Article comment by: DelMarie Middleton-Shields

As a class of 83 Graduate, I AM GLAD that the board had enough smarts to hire a local, WITH kids in the district. I am ALSO GLAD that someone has also informed the New Principal NOT to pay attention to the negative blogs in the Courier. I will you luck, and I KNOW that you have GREAT support from Jim Wells, I graduated with him!


Posted: Wednesday, April 03, 2013
Article comment by: A Past Student

Mrs. Hillig- Lesson number one in being PHS principal. Never read Courier blogs! Even though some have good things to say, the moste hateful people in Prescott spread their hate here. Keep doing what you did at GMMS. It was great for kids. We are so happy that you will be at PHS!!

Posted: Wednesday, April 03, 2013
Article comment by: B. Smith

This is gonna be the best ever! I heard that Mr. Igel is a tech guru. I bet ever kids gonna get a google pad by next year. Way to go board!

Posted: Wednesday, April 03, 2013
Article comment by: Nationwide Search, Why??

Congratulations Principal Hillig!

Now why did the PUSD board "lure" so many far-away candidates into the recruitment process? Those out-of-state candidates, whose employers now know full well that they are out looking, have jeopardized their jobs and careers just for applying for the PHS vacancy.

If you have a qualified insider to promote - just do it! No need for an expensive horse and pony show that's costly in many ways to honest folks across the land.

Posted: Wednesday, April 03, 2013
Article comment by: Tie Me To The Length of That

Hey everybody, look at Prescott's, Mr. Tea Party, local watchdog and substitute teacher, Tom Steele! Instead of asking the State Legislature (with whom the responsibility lies) to properly fund our schools, he's got both hands out, asking for freebies and discounts from the private sector.
I'll save my 'Box Tops for Education' coupons for you Mr. Steele, but that's it.

Congratulations to Mrs. Hillig on becoming the new PHS principal.

As to looking at a bond and capitol override similar to what passed in Paradise Valley, you will be hard pressed to make that a reality here in Prescott. Besides, bond overrides aren't the way to go, folks. Bond overrides create have and have-not school districts in this state and allow our legislature to ignore their requirement to properly fund, maintain and enhance our schools. Force the legislature to properly fund our schools as the AZ State Constitution requires them to do (Art. 11, Sec. 10). Stop giving these clowns that repeatedly get elected to represent us and take care of the states business, carte blanche, to do everything but!

Posted: Wednesday, April 03, 2013
Article comment by: Complete Travesty Of the hiring process

Regardless of whether they like her or not, the ONLY people that like this person are the ones that have to brown-nose her to get their way. The usual suspects, like ROTC and English and Business teachers HAVE to be positive because their fluff jobs depend on her support. It's going to be tough to be "led" be a person with no morals, no leadership skills, and no respect. But good luck, Steph.

Posted: Wednesday, April 03, 2013
Article comment by: Hooty Hoo

Excellent choice PUSD board!

Posted: Wednesday, April 03, 2013
Article comment by: Hypocrisy In Hiring

So not only did they hire an un-qualified, local yahoo but she gets a 30% raise in the process! Now THAT'S a good-old-boy slap on the BACK. Wow are these Tuscon people good! The process to hire was COMPLETELY UNFAIR. But as one would expect in Prescott, Alabama.

Posted: Wednesday, April 03, 2013
Article comment by: Candie Sibson

Congrats PHS, you have gotten a wonderful new principal!! Great Job Stephanie!!
Candie Sibson

Posted: Wednesday, April 03, 2013
Article comment by: Tom Steele

Ms. Hillig will be great at PHS. Half or more of the kids at PHS know her from Granite Mountain and the rest are a great bunch of kids too. And who can disagree that the schools need a boost in technology. These kids are a whiz on computer games but perhaps lack the skills to research from on line sources. Let's hope the major technology companies will help us with donations and price breaks as we move into the fall semester.

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