|Highlands High School Principal Matt Bertasso is leaving his position at the end of the school year. FTM file.|
by Robin Gee
Highlands High School principal Matt Bertasso will leave his position at the end of the 2020-2021 school year to pursue opportunities outside of the District, according to an email he sent to school staff. Bertasso, a 1997 graduate of Highlands High School, returned to the principal’s chair in Fort Thomas before the 2018-2019 school year and is completing his third year at the helm.
Under Bertasso’s guidance, Highlands High School performed at an elite level in the school rankings posted on niche.com, rated as the #2 public high school in Kentucky out of 235 surveyed. Mr. Bertasso also help guid the school through the extensive and ever-changing protocols tied to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was common to see the principal monitoring thermal cameras to check temperatures at school entrances and have paper towels and spray bottles in-hand, cleaning tables in the gym and cafeteria to prepare for socially-distanced lunches.
On his first school day as principal, in August of 2018, Bertasso gathered the Highlands community in the Performing Arts Center to place a renewed focus on school spirit and student attendance in the O-Zone at athletic events. Bertasso led the search to bring Bob Sphire to Fort Thomas from Georgia as the new varsity football coach.
And as a drum major in the band as a student at Highlands, Bertasso earned an Administrator of the Year award this year from the Kentucky Music Educators Association.
Bertasso and his wife, Julie, have five children: Allison, Lauren, Megan, Ben and Nate.