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North Pole High School is home to a new principal

Published: Mar. 23, 2022 at 4:18 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Since 1976, North Pole High School (NPHS) has been teaching students in the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District (FNSBSD) in the North Pole area. With the school’s impact on future generations, the person they decide to have as their principal is mportnat.

Michelle Spillane took that position on Wednesday, February 23, 2022.

According to the latest press release from the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District, Chief School Administrator Karen Melin said, “Michelle has been a pivotal leader during this past year with NPH. I welcome Michelle to her new leadership position and look forward to her continued success in our school district.”

Spillane is a 1992 graduate of the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District, and journeyed through the University of Alaska education system to attain the position she currently holds.

As shared by Spillane, “When I was a senior we moved here to Fairbanks area and I graduated from high school in the area. Then it wasn’t until a long time after, maybe 5 years later I was working in a juvenile hall out of the state and realized that something that I cared about was education and seeing students find their purpose. So I found my way back into the field of education.”

The new North Pole High School principal has approached this educational leadership opportunity by building relationships and creating a sense of community.

”I’ve come to those things with a servant leadership approach,” Spillane explained. “How can I support those that need support and those that are doing really hard work, and how can I be a part of the problem-solving and come up with innovative ideas? That’s how I’ve been approaching being a principal - building teams in the building to support one another and students.”

Spillane continued, “I think North Pole is this hidden gem and it makes me really excited to be part of this place in this time. We’re a high school within a small town and there is a lot of things happening in this building that I’m really excited about. Just, for example, we hosted parent nights even in the midst of everything that is happening in our world. [With] all the mitigation pieces, we’ve been able to host a parent night. We’ve hosted an open house. We finished our 13th consecutive year of Poetry Out Loud with a student going to state. We finished a musical which had 1600 folks attend. There are so many things happening in this building that have a ripple effect on our community, and that to me is the most exciting thing about NPHS - that we’re sending students out with this very well rounded experience, from a high school experience out into the world. That’s exciting!”

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