Thunder Mountain High School principal stepping down

Posted: Sunday, April 04, 2010

Thunder Mountain High School Principal Patti Bippus will be stepping down at the end of the school year.

Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File
Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File

The district announced Bippus decision Friday.

Bippus joined the school district three years ago. She said on Saturday that she had always envisioned herself helping out primarily with the start of Thunder Mountain, not its ongoing operations.

"We've been able to set the groundwork, now it's time to move to the next level," she said. "I'm very proud of what we've done, but I don't think I'm the person to (do the next step).

"It's a good time to leave. We're at a good place, and we have been able to establish some high expectations for quality. We've been able to build the structure; now it's time to put the finishing touches on it."

In a press release from the district, Bippus said it had been an honor and a pleasure to work with TMHS students, their families and Thunder Mountain staff.

Superintendent Glenn Gelbrich said in the release that Bippus was involved in a significant reform effort that has positively affected secondary education in Juneau.

"We appreciate her service and the work that she does to benefit Juneau students, particularly those she works with at TMHS," he said.

Bippus said with a child in Anchorage and a child in Colorado, she anticipates either moving south or north. She is a painter and artist and said she might pursue art full-time.

The search for a new principal could begin as early as next week.

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