To new HHS principal, job is near ?perfect?

Dale Honeck, the new principal at Hillsboro High School, says

Hillsboro may be as close to being as perfect for him as he can find.

?I just pinch myself,? said Honeck, who was principal at Hugoton High

School this past year. ?If I could pick a town and a school with the

attributes I am looking for, Hillsboro is amazingly almost perfect for


?I know that?s idealistic at this time because nothing is perfect,?

he added. ?I just think it has so many things I was looking for. I am

really excited.?

Honeck?s appointment as principal was ratified by the USD 410 Board of

Education at their Monday meeting. He will formally begin the position

July 27.

Honeck first visited Hillsboro in 1996 when he came for a Tabor

College event on the day of the annual Arts & Crafts Fair.

He has been back to Hillsboro occasionally since then and always

thought it was a nice area.

In addition to liking the location, Honeck also was impressed with the

school and what the community has done with it. He also liked the

teachers he met during his interview.

?The first thing I noticed when I went in there was the attention to

the physical facility, and that?s a big issue to me,? he said. ?It?s

clean, neat, well added on. That tells you there is some planning and

some organization, and people are working together when you get that

kind of complex.?

He also noticed the district?s commitment to technology, which he

feels makes a significant difference in education.

?The other thing is, I love extra-curricular activities,? Honeck said.

?I think they are such an important, integral part of the schools.?

He likes the high standard set for extra-curricular activities at


While there are a few differences between the Hugoton and Hillsboro

high schools, Honeck said the number of similarities is amazing.

The schools are similar in size, block scheduling, technology and


Honeck sees two main differences: Hugoton has a larger population that

uses English as a second language and more severe disciplinary


Honeck is anxious to find out more about Hillsboro. He plans to read

police logs and faculty handbooks and talk with Superintendent Gordon

Mohn and the faculty.

Honeck was principal for nine years at Hugoton. Prior to that he was

an assistant principal in Arizona.?

?I?m hoping with my years as principal that I can bring something to

the table, maybe a different way of doing things,? he said.

He has also taught social studies, history and government in high

schools and colleges in Iowa, North Carolina, Minnesota and Virginia.

?I love teaching and always have, so staff development and instruction

are critical to me,? Honeck said. ?That has to be number one for any

principal. That?s why we are there.?

Honeck feels his experience as a coach makes him a better principal

because he understands the frustrations and stress that go with

extra-curricular activities, as well as their importance in the


?Adding all of those things together, I just felt being in an

administrative position would fit my personality and experience as

well as give me a chance to earn more money,? he said.

Honeck does have a connection to Hillsboro. He worked with Pat Call,

Hillsboro Elementary School principal, during his first year in


?I thought that was kind of a neat thing,? he said.

Honeck plans to move to Hillsboro in mid-July.

Because his wife is a third grade and Chapter I reading teacher at

Hugoton, and his daughter, Kate, is going to be a high school senior

this fall, they may remain in Hugoton during the next school year.

By living in Hillsboro, Honeck said he will be closer to his older

daughter, Amy, who is a student at Southwestern College in Winfield.

?I love it,? Honeck said about his work. ?I told the people (during

the interview) I have no aspirations to be anything but a high school


?The day I leave my office and shut the lights off for the last time,

I hope it?s a princip

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