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Friday, May 14, 2021

Highlands High School SBDMC Names New Principal, John Darnell

John Darnell is the new principal at Highlands High School. 

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The Highlands High School School-Based Decision-Making Council (SBDMC) unanimously selected John Darnell as principal of Highlands High School. He is presently serving as the principal at Bellevue Middle/High School, a position he has held for four years.  

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He will succeed Matthew Bertasso, who is leaving the District to pursue other opportunities. 

Darnell’s career in education began at Boyd County Middle School where he taught social studies for three years. Additionally, he taught four years at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Lexington, KY, before advancing to the position of assistant principal at Woodford County High School in Versailles, KY.  

Darnell earned his bachelor’s degree in History at Transylvania University, a master’s degree in Education at Morehead State University, and a master’s degree in Instructional Leadership at the University of the Cumberlands.

HHS SBDM council member and teacher Jaime Richey said, “We are excited to welcome Mr. John Darnell to Highlands High School.  As a council, we were impressed with Mr. Darnell’s level of preparedness, wide breadth of knowledge, and variety of leadership experiences. His authenticity, personable nature and his genuine passion for helping every student reach high expectations speaks to what it means to “wear the H” with pride as a Bluebird.”

Superintendent Karen Cheser stated, “The Highlands High School SBDM Council worked diligently to select the right person to carry on the great work at the school and to provide even more options for students. John Darnell will do a fantastic job in focusing on academic excellence, school spirit and building our students’ Portrait of a Graduate competencies.” 

“I appreciate the trust and faith the SBDM council and incoming Superintendent Robinson have in me to work with the faculty, staff, students and parents at Highlands High School,” said Darnell. “Highlands is a name that is synonymous with excellence, and I am confident our collaborative work will allow our students to pursue their passions and ambitions so they can be fulfilled.”

Darnell and his wife, Megan, reside in Bellevue with their four children: Aiden, Oliver, Hudson and Adalind.  John enjoys basketball and spending time outdoors with his family.

Darnell will begin serving as principal on July 1, 2021.

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