The School Newspaper of Vista Ridge High School

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The School Newspaper of Vista Ridge High School

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The School Newspaper of Vista Ridge High School

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Who is Dr. Morgan?

Vista Ridge High School gets a new principal after 17 years
Kierra Campbell
Dr. Morgan sits down to chat with news media about their program and what they do.

Vista Ridge has recently gotten a new principal: Dr. Keith Morgan, former principal of Cedar Park Middle School. Not much is known about Dr. Morgan, other than his impressive height (6 ’10”!). However, in a recent interview with VRHS News, Dr. Morgan told more about his life and the process of becoming a principal.

Dr Morgan was born on an Air Force base in Fort Worth Texas and later moved to Austin at age 10. “I went to the LBJ Science Academy. I think it’s called LASA now.” he said. “They had a really good basketball team.” If you didn’t already assume from his height, Dr. Morgan did play basketball growing up. “I actually ended up being the size I am now, six foot 10 by the end of eighth grade.” He said “And I really liked football, but the coaches, I think, looked at me and said, no, you’re playing basketball, so ended up doing that.”

But that worked out in Dr. Morgan’s favor, because getting into basketball got him a full-ride scholarship into Texas A&M. He did end up playing there, and also played for St. Edwards. But Dr. Morgan isn’t in the NBA, He’s the principal.

“I had no idea I wanted to be a principal when I was in high school or college.” He said. “My degree from college is in business management, so what I did know is I wanted to be a leader.” But eventually, he realized that the principal route was the way for him. “I like kids, like working with kids, right? And so you kind of put all those together, Even though I didn’t know I was gonna be a principal, it kind of just all kind of lined up eventually.”

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Much like the average High School student, Dr. Morgan didn’t really know what to do. But not knowing that isn’t a death sentence. After figuring it out, Dr. Morgan went back to college and got a doctorate in educational leadership.

The principal didn’t start as the principal. “I was actually a high school math teacher at Cedar Park High School, that’s where I started in Leander.” the Principal said. “And the assistant principal at the time at Cedar Park High School, his name was Stu Taylor, and he got picked to be the first principal of Vista Ridge High School. And so he asked me to come over and join him to open up Vista Ridge High School, So I came over as a math teacher at Vista Ridge High School.”

After a few years of teaching math, Dr. Morgan went back to college to his master’s degree and his principal certification and became the assistant principal at Vista for 3 years. “Coming back all these years later and seeing that all those dreams and all those things that we thought Vista Ridge could happen and even bigger and better than what I could’ve ever imagined, and the opportunity to come back and be a part of the Vista Ridge family, the Ranger family, it’s like a dream come true.”

After those first 5 years at Vista, Dr. Morgan went back to Cedar Park Middle School as an AP, and then went down to Cedar Park Elementary to work as Principal, the same school where his kids went, then went back as principal at Cedar Park MS, and now he ended up at Vista Ridge.

When asked about how he got the job, Dr. Morgan said “Everything just kind of worked out, the timing and everything just kind of aligned, because I’m actually really good friends with Paul Johnson, and really admire him and his leadership and actually worked with him here at Vista Ridge when he first started.” he said. “So when he got his new job, I knew that it was time for me to try and to be principal here, and it worked out.”

The process for becoming a principal is similar to any other high-level job. Roughly 50 people applied, and throughout multiple rounds of interviews, the number of candidates was lowered until they found the right person for the job. “So I had to interview several times with other administrators and people at the Central Office, I had to interview with parents, teachers. So really just getting a hold of what Vista Ridge is.”

Don’t worry, students also get some input in choosing the new principal. “They kind of keep all these notes and they kind of have this idea of what they want in a principal. And I just happened to be the best fit for what the students and teachers said that they wanted and then what I have to offer and who I am, it was a match.” Dr. Morgan said. “That’s why I’m super excited and I hope the students and teachers and parents are excited as well.”

And so after a long and challenging process, Dr. Morgan was chosen as the new principal of Vista Ridge High School. Despite being a principal at other schools, principal-ing at a high school is very different.

Dr. Morgan speaks at his first Vista pep rally as the new principal on February 2.

“When they’re young, kindergarten or first grade, they just want to go play and run and throw rocks, they don’t really care.” Dr. Morgan said. “But when they’re juniors and seniors, they got a lot on their mind, right? They’re thinking about their future. They’re thinking about not only who’s hanging around them, but where they’re going to go and who they’re going do it with, right?”

On top of that, older students are focused on success and connections, which is something Dr. Morgan wants to focus on. “What’s most important, I think, is building healthy connections with others and learning how to get along with others and valuing others and finding out what makes them unique and different,” he said. “So it doesn’t matter if they’re a kindergartner or a senior, I think it’s important for me to set the tone and let them know that I do care about you and I do wanna get to know you.”

Another huge transition is the sheer volume of Vista Ridge. We have twice the students, which means Dr. Morgan gets twice the emails, and twice the things to attend to. But it’s not all bad: “What I’m learning is I have a really good admin. assistant, I have a really good admin team, I have really good counselors, I have really good people that support me to help me to do my job best.”

It’s a big change for the whole of Vista Ridge, but luckily we have a good and skilled principal to take us through.

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About the Contributor
Nick Chang, Staff Reporter
Nick Chang is a senior and is excited to be a part of News Media this year. This is his second year working with VRHS News Media. Nick is also a part of Vista’s Theater and an active member of Drama Club. Outside of school, Nick enjoys writing, reading, video games, and going hiking. Nick can't wait to share the school's stories with the world.

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