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Thomas Kearney


I am proud to serve as the Superintendent and Principal for New Heights School in Stillwater, MN. I have been with NHS since 1995 and have been involved in the administration of the school since September of 1996.  A little-known fact about me; I am the longest-standing principal/administrator in the Stillwater School District Area (28 Years in leadership).


651.439.1962 x102


In my 29 years at New Heights, 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 greater 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. 


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.  Next, 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, 2010, I completed all requirements necessary to add Superintendent of Schools to my license and professional title.  My professional interests include continuing my work at New Heights; supporting other charter school leaders through various types of consultation; and I am also currently in the process of taking on a role in adult education, which means I am writing curriculum and later this spring I am scheduled to begin teaching classes to aspiring charter school administrators at St. Mary’s University. 

Teaching Backgroud:

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

American History

American Civics






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 eventually they will be scheduled for the classes I continue to teach, which are: Civics, Economics, 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 more 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 approach for students who are in need of correction as I will have had a better opportunity to get to know and understand them.

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