New principals hired at NH schools
Two new principals are ready to take the reins in the North Harrison Community School Corp. after the school board voted to hire them Thursday night.
Steve Hatton, who has been the assistant principal at North Harrison High School the past three years, will take over as principal at NHHS, and Nathan Freed was hired as principal at North Harrison Middle School.
‘I’m excited,’ Hatton told the five-member board Thursday after the 3-2 vote (Michael Beyerle and Jerry Renneker were against). ‘My family is thrilled to be a part of the community.
Renneker said at the meeting that his nay vote was not due to ‘any lack of confidence’ in Hatton, but rather an objection to the contract offered.
‘I’m kind of a stickler when it comes to compensation,’ he said. ‘I believe in seeing performance … ‘
Beyerle echoed Renneker’s sentiments, saying, ‘When another administrator is hired, you get to negotiate. Teachers don’t get to do that.’
Neither Hatton nor Freed, who was hired by a 4-1 vote (Beyerle against), seemed fazed by the vote. Hatton succeeds Kelly Simpson, and Freed succeeds Karen Lambertus.
Hatton, who was born in Richmond, Ky., in 1972, moved to Clarksville when his father, a train engineer, was relocated there. He graduated in 1994 from Transylvania University, where he majored in secondary education then taught health and physical education and was the high school basketball coach in the Greater Clark Community School Corp. before taking the assistant principal position at North Harrison. His wife, Emily, is the assistant principal at Highland Hills Middle School.
‘I’ve always had a lot of respect for the North Harrison school corporation,’ Hatton said Monday. ‘I feel like this will be a great opportunity.’
Referring to himself as ‘a big people person,’ Hatton said he decided to be an educator to have an impact on people.
‘I wanted to make a difference in (young people’s) life,’ he said, adding that moving to an administrator’s position allows him to have an influence on more people.
‘This school corporation has the potential to just be outstanding,’ he said.
Hatton said his best attribute is his communication skills and he leads by example.
‘I really believe in servant leadership,’ he said, and he likes to let people know where he stands on issues.
One change he intends to make is offering credit to students who are athletes or members of the marching band and to using the alternative school more for students who have a difficult time functioning in a traditional classroom setting.
‘In the next year or two, you’ll see a school to be proud of,’ Hatton said. ‘I’m ready to move forward.’
The Hattons have two children, Lilly, 11, and Langdon, 9.
The opening of the assistant principal position was posted Friday.
Born in Bedford in 1976, Freed lived in Orleans until his father accepted the principal position at Tell City High School in 1993. A 1994 graduate of Tell City High School, he earned his undergraduate degree in social studies education from Indiana State University and his secondary administration and supervision degree from Indiana University Southeast. He’s no stranger to Harrison County, having taught social studies for six years at Corydon Central High School, where he also coached baseball, basketball and tennis. From there, he was the assistant principal at Crawford County Junior-Senior High School for four years and spent the last four years as assistant principal at River Valley Middle School in Jeffersonville.
‘Education has always been in my blood and was really the only career path I wanted to choose from an early age,’ he said.
Besides his father, Freed’s mother, brother and wife are also in the education field. (His wife, Melanie, teaches at Corydon Central.)
‘I have a love for social studies and was impacted greatly by my high school social studies teacher (Steve Carver),’ Freed said. ‘I miss the day-to-day interaction with students in the classroom but feel as a school administrator I can have a greater impact on the lives of more students and the school community in general.’
Freed lists as his strongest traits his ability to work and communicate with people, as well as his passion for education.
‘I am most looking forward to working with the staff and community in order to provide the best possible education we can for kids,’ he said. ‘I am also looking forward to working with students and helping them to continue their academic growth, be prepared for high school and college and become productive citizens in society.’
What the public can expect from Freed, he says, is someone who is ‘fair, consistent and who will always have their children’s best interest’ in mind while delivering the best education possible.
The Freeds have two sons, Connor, 9, and Cameron, 6. When he’s not working, in addition to spending time with his family, Freed enjoys reading books by James Patterson and vacationing in the Great Smoky Mountains and Panama City Beach, Fla. He says he’s ‘a huge sports fan,’ with his favorite teams being the St. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis Blues, Indianapolis Colts and the Indiana University Hoosiers.