Dearborn will move into Principal’s office at CCHS

Posted July 14, 2020 at 2:30 pm

On Thursday, July 9, 2020, the Clinton County School District gained a new principal, as Kenneth Dearborn was hired in the position at the high school.

Dearborn has only been in the district as an administrator for two years, working as the assistant principal at the high school, but he brings 27 years of experience in education with him.

“I always wanted to be principal and you always have your visions of what your first meeting with the staff is going to be like,” Dearborn said. “That’s kind of all up in the air with the COVID-19 stuff. A lot of that is going to be virtual and it’s going to be a heck of a year trying to plan all of that.”

Dearborn said his staff understands and is very accepting on how flexible they will need to be this school year.

“A lot of it depends on how many students choose virtual as opposed to actually being here,” Dearborn said. “One thing I want to get out right away is what it’s going to be like here.”

Having students come in and sit in a classroom all day long is too unrealistic. Dearborn said they are planning several activities to keep the students active during this pandemic.

“It’s going to be a little bit more than coming in and staying in one room,” Dearborn said. “Kids will be able to go to electives, we are planning activities where kids, virtually, can interact. It’s going to be more interaction than what kids think. We certainly want all the kids to be here.”

Regardless of what happens in the future with COVID-19, Dearborn said they have a plan to accommodate many different options pertaining to how many students are at the school.

“We have a plan if everyone showed up, and as kids go virtual we have a plan for that,” Dearborn said. “We’ve talked with teachers and councilors and they have been great with being flexible. We have a great staff.”

Dearborn said he is excited to get this year started despite the fact there could be fewer students in the school than in previous years.

“No matter when or under what conditions, you always want to make it the best experience you can for the kids. A lot more planning goes into it this year,” Dearborn said. “I think this gives us an opportunity to rethink how we interact and ways we interact with kids. It will tell us how we need to educate kids and hoping some of those things stick.”

One way Dearborn looks at his job is as being a servant to the community.

“I considered it as being a servant position to the kids, staff and the community,” Dearborn said. “I always want to be available. I want people to feel welcome here and I want the community to come in and help the kids. In my two years here, I know the community greatly supports us. I don’t see any school being successful without community support. I’ve seen it here and it’s great. As long as you are speaking to people personally and honestly they will support you. I think we can look for new ways to get kids out into the community and certainly, ways the community can come in and help us … not just with money, but with people and time to give opportunity for kids.”

Dearborn said the transitions from assistant principal to principal has been really easy for him. With being the assistant for two years, he has a understanding of how the system operates.

“I couldn’t imagine going into a principal job not knowing anything,” Dearborn said. “It’s helped with having those two years. I was going to be here regardless and so Ms. Evans left us in a really good spot. She has helped with that transition very well.”

One goal for Dearborn, he said, was to redefine what the “NTI” days or Non-Traditional Instruction means for the students.

“Rather than being for a couple of days, we need instruction to carry on,” Dearborn said. “We ask a whole lot out of our teachers to do that. That’s one thing we are going to look at when we come back is what does NTI look like if we have to do it for two weeks or even a month. We have got a lot of feedback from the public on what the pitfalls are and that’s helped guide us.”

Dearborn said he is overwhelmed at the number of people who showed support for him in this new position. Superintendent Dr. Tim Parson said he brings 20 plus years of experience to the job.

“He’s a man with outstanding integrity and high character. I’ve always been impressed by the way he leads his family. He’s a great father. He cares deeply about the students of Clinton County. He will bring great experience, character, leadership, and common sense to this position,” Parson said. “Out of all the students and staff we talked to, not one person wanted us to hire anyone else. He will do a great job leading our staff and students at CCHS.”

Dearborn and his wife, Stacy, have three sons, Eric, Evan and Eli.

Evan graduated from Clinton County High School last year and Eli will be a sophomore this year.

“Eric was in Oxford, Mississippi when we made the move, so he really didn’t know anybody, but he has been really welcomed,” Dearborn said. “I always say this, I treat everyone as if they were my kids and, even when I didn’t have kids in a school, I always had that in mind. I’m not going to treat your kid any different than I treat my own and I’ve always tried to live that. I hope people see that. It’s all about the kids and making them successful.”

Kenneth Dearborn has been selected as the new CCHS Principal.