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DePue principal resigns

Higgs: ‘You cannot change the needed things above you for the benefit of students’

DEPUE — DePue Schools Principal David Higgs has resigned from his position effective July 1.

The school board accepted his resignation at Wednesday’s board meeting. Higgs has held the position of principal for the past three years.

While there was no discussion regarding his resignation before it was approved, Higgs agreed to an interview with the Bureau County Republican a day following the board’s approval.

On Thursday, he admitted he had been considering the decision since last spring when the school board offered him a superintendent’s contract and the deal fell through.

“The reasons are varied,” he said. “Some are the same as principals before me in that as a principal, you cannot change the needed things above you for the benefit of students.”

Next year will mark the fourth principal in eight years at DePue, according to Higgs.

In a letter of recommendation from the school board, which Higgs shared with the BCR, they write: “Mr. Higgs’ leadership has been the nexus for dramatic curricular, students achievement, programmatic, discipline, policy, human resource and facility improvements at DePue. There are multiple examples that could be cited to back the aforementioned statement, but clearly the most compelling is that we offered Mr. Higgs a superintendent contract during his second year of being a principal. Unfortunately, this did not form to fruition primarily due to recent legislation which made the alternative six month certification program available.”

While at DePue, Higgs worked to recognize the positive gains and success of the staff and students. Each month he reported to the board with a report called, “Good Things are Happening at DePue Schools.”

In a recommendation letter from Superintendent Randy Otto, which Higgs also shared with the BCR, he discussed Higgs’ undertaking to rebuilding the school climate within the district, his development of a district-wide PBIS system, which helped reduced students discipline by more than 50 percent.

“With fewer discipline issues in the way, the schools have been able to concentrate on the academic efforts of the students instead,” the letter reads.

Higgs explained he currently cannot disclose details about his future, however plans to be a principal and take care of his family.

“I have also been approached to collaborate with other school leaders on a book regarding school change in the 21st century,” he said.

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