Highland High School’s New Principal April Goff Getting Ready For The New School Year

Monterey, Va – New high school Principal April Goff comes to Highland County from Danville, Virginia, where she was Principal at the Galileo Magnet School. However, Mrs. Goff is very familiar with the Allegheny Highlands. Before taking the job in Danville, she was Assistant Principal at Bath County High School for 2 years. Mrs. Goff and her husband Freddie and their two children have enjoyed their first month in Highland County. The couple’s son and daughter will both be attending Highland Public Schools this fall.

April Goff was born and raised in Currituck County, near the Outer Banks. That means both the Principal and Superintendent have strong connections to the Tarheel state. Mrs. Goff’s stay in Virginia started with her college years at Liberty University in Lynchburg where she completed her undergraduate and master’s degrees. She is also working on a doctorate in education there. Mrs. Goff discusses some of the challenges she anticipates during her first year.

“Well for me personally, I think the biggest challenge is adapting to a new school culture; every schools’ different even if they’re side by side in the same district” says Goff. “There’s a lot of talk about the sustainability of Highland County public schools. I have no doubt that the school system will remain. There is strong leadership from [Superintendent] Dr. Crawford with good ideas on how to promote sustainability.”

“The community and the school are so intertwined, I just don’t foresee Highland County public schools going away anytime in the near future. I think just calming the fears and apprehensions about that is going to be a big challenge; I have full faith that we’re going to be here for a while or I wouldn’t have moved my family up here.”

She goes on to talk about the Highland School System’s recent achievements at the state and national level.

“It is very remarkable; if you look at the school report card and you see the data, not only the academic data, but the discipline data” she says. “Discipline data is very low and academic data is very high; that’s something that is definitely a reflection of the community and the administration that’s been here, the Blue Ribbon status is remarkable. The scores are very comparable to where I came from which was a magnet, advanced rigor, IB [International Baccalaurate program] school, so to see that in what would be considered just your normal average kind of high school, it reflects a lot of what the teachers and staff and the parents and the kids are committed to.”

Mrs. Goff plans to build on the school’s past successes to create an even stronger academic environment.

“But I’m hoping with that focus we can retain and attract even more students to join us and to stay here” says Goff. “I’m hoping that we look at this as we’re doing really well, but we’re not perfect yet’ and keep striving for that perfect mark and keep advancing our rigor; and preparing the students for college and beyond.”

“At some point in the high school, they end up in front of a computer for a lot of their upper level classes. Our newest hire that I actually was a part of, will be teaching the Physics face to face, that’s one course that’s been offered through the virtual that’s going to be a face to face class now.”

The Goff family has enjoyed the hospitality shown by the Monterey community.

“I have felt completely welcomed, not only by the school faculty and staff, [but] by the community that we’ve interacted with” she says. “We live right here in Monterey; the Monterey community and folks have been very welcoming. That speaks a lot for the school system and the school itself. I’ve heard nothing but positive things about the kids and their level of respect for authority, so I think it’s a great place.”

If you have questions or comments for the new high school principal, you can bring them to the next School Board meeting on Monday, August 8 at 7 PM in the high school library.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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