Principal
Thomas Kearney


I am proud to serve as the Superintendent and Principal for New Heights School. I have been with NHS since 1995 and have been involved in the administration of the school since September of 1996. A little know fact about me; I am the longest standing principal in the Stillwater School District Area (21 Years).

In my twenty+ years, I have enjoyed working with students of all ability levels and have come to understand just how diversified learning abilities are among students of a single community. I truly believe that all children can learn, but they do not necessarily learn in the same way or at the same pace. That is why I am so proud to be involved with NHS. New Heights provides families of the Stillwater area with an important option, especially for children who need or want a smaller environment with fewer distractions. NHS has been and continues to be an excellent educational option that brings balance to the greater Stillwater community. I am very proud and pleased with the community’s enthusiasm for our school. I am also proud to have been such an integral part of the development and evolution of the school.

Education:

I earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls where I majored in Secondary Education/Broad Field Social Studies. I then earned a Master of Education Degree from Saint Mary's University of Winona in Teaching and Learning. And finally, I completed the Administrative Licensure program through Saint Mary's University-Minneapolis Campus. Upon completion, I was certified through the State of Minnesota as a Licensed School Principal for all grades K-12. Most recently, I have completed all requirements for a new endorsement to my educational license; Superintendent of Schools.

Teaching Backgroud:

Since 1995, I have taught several subjects at NHS including:
 

American History

American Civics

Psychology

Criminology

English

Government

I am fortunate to be what some may refer to as a "teaching principal." In most schools, the principal is someone who students view as the authority of the school, or the one who issues disciplinary consequences for bad behavior. Although that role comes with the territory of administration, students at NHS know that I have been teaching at the school since my arrival in 1995. Students also know that as 11th graders they will be scheduled for the classes I continue to teach which are: Psychology and Criminology. Once students attend my classes, we are able to establish a higher-level relationship than many principals can with their students because we interact in a meaningful way each and every day. Once that relationship is formed, the discipline side of the job is much easier to perform. Since I am more closely connected to my students, I feel I am able to determine a more authentic and appropriate style of discipline for students who are in need of correction, as I will have had a better opportunity to get to know and understand them.

Interests:

Since I was a very young boy, I have always enjoyed participating in competitive situations; especially sports. Some of my favorite activities have included things like baseball, which I played until I was 30 years old; distance running, including several Twin Cities Marathons and one Grandma’s Marathon; and Golf, which happens to be my favorite activity today. These and other activities in my life have helped me to learn to be more persistent, patient, and humble. I have experienced very high levels of success in each of these activities, and I have had some frustrations as well, but learning to handle frustration is very important in life.

In addition to competing, I also enjoy traveling, including trips to such places as Italy; Austria; Scotland; and Germany. My more local favorite destinations include places like Maine; Coastal Florida; Coastal California; Arizona and Mexico. Let’s not forget to mention Las Vegas! Every year my wife and I try to experience something familiar and something new. This past summer, we enjoyed a day trip to Vino in the Valley near Ellsworth Wisconsin. We both highly recommend it.

From time-to-time in my travels, I have had the chance to see something new and different, which is what makes traveling fun. Recently, my wife and I heard about a place we had not known about before called The Arches National Park in Moab, Utah. It is similar to the Canyon Lands National Park featured in the Movie 127 Hours. The climate is awesome, and the views and hiking trails are truly unique and amazing. I have been to many of our national parks, but The Arches is a real hidden treasure. I hope you can make the trip some day.

Finally, I enjoy watching movies, listening to music, and occasionally seeing a live performance, whether it is a rock concert or Irish dancing. Some of my favorites include things like the Phantom of the Opera; Lord of the Dance; and A Christmas Carol. If you have a particular favorite, let me know and maybe I will get the chance to see your favorite performance.