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12:15 PM Tue, Sept. 25th

Taylor Hicks’ new principal a veteran instructor/administrator and loyal Badger

Kelsey Secor is the new principal at Taylor Hicks Elementary. She is standing in front of the “Congratulations – You’re Finally Home” sign.

Photo by Nanci Hutson.

Kelsey Secor is the new principal at Taylor Hicks Elementary. She is standing in front of the “Congratulations – You’re Finally Home” sign.

Kelsey Secor has deep roots in Prescott. Born and raised in “Everybody’s Hometown,” she is a loyal Badger who after earning her diploma headed off to Northern Arizona University where she earned her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in education.

For the last decade she has been part of the district staff, starting as a Mile High Middle School sixth- through eighth-grade math teacher. She spent four years in that role before she went to Lincoln Elementary as a third-grade teacher and then became an instructional coach for both Lincoln and Taylor Hicks Elementary schools for a couple years. She then was promoted to assistant principal at Mile High Middle School. Prior to her educational career in Prescott, Secor taught fourth grade in Phoenix and sixth grade in the Humboldt District.

In January, Secor was tapped to be the interim principal at Taylor Hicks when that school’s decade-long principal Brian Moore was promoted to be the district’s chief financial officer after the resignation of Kevin Dickerson. In addition to Secor’s move, Mile High Social Studies teacher Andy Binder was made the interim assistant principal.

On Wednesday afternoon, District Superintendent Joe Howard announced that Secor’s interim status is no more. She was recommended by a committee of eight staff, administrators and one parent from a field of four qualified candidates to be the school’s full-time leader.

Since Secor became the interim principal, Howard said “she has left a great impression” on the school community and district. Her promotion

also secures Binder’s position.

“We continue to be proud of all of our staff as we approach this important job with a collaborative sense of balanced leadership,” Howard said. “We are all leaders, and I know that Kelsey, for example, knows that she can’t do this job without her amazing staff helping to lead the way.

“As I walk around our schools, I never cease to be amazed at how we all work together to give these kids the best education possible!”

Mile High Principal Mark Goligoski described Secor as “a proactive leader” who proved herself both a student and teacher advocate.

“She is a very patient individual and always accessible,” Goligoski said. “She’s always looking for solutions.”

He described her as the “perfect fit” for Taylor Hicks.

Secor said she is delighted with this opportunity, one that she embraces as a career move but even more so because she knows from prior time spent in the school “what a special place this is.”

From the time she arrived as the interim principal, Secor said the staff has “been incredible.”

Moore was a beloved principal at the school for a decade. Yet Secor said she was immediately welcomed and supported by staff, students and parents.

“I feel so fortunate to have the opportunity to be here,” said Secor, “The staff is incredible. Brian was so loved in his position, but from the moment I came everyone has been nothing but supportive and encouraging to me. Even with my learning curve, I could not have asked for a better group of people … It’s really been fabulous.”

On Thursday, the school erected a big yellow cardboard sign covered in balloons outside her office door that reads, “Congratulations Mrs. Secor – You’re finally home.”

“PUSD has got a special place in my heart,” said Secor, whose husband, Steven, is a Prescott High School graduate and their two daughters, Peyton, 11, and Kaylin, 9, are students in the district. “This is home to me. This is a place who made me who I am, really. From the beginning, I have been really fortunate to work with incredible people who have believed in me, put faith in me and showed me what else I could be – how I could impact Prescott schools.”