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Meet Highland Park's New Superintendent


The Highland Park school district earlier hired Tom Trigg as its new leader earlier this week. He’s spent a decade running the Blue Valley schools in suburban Kansas City.

For this week's Friday Conversation, Trigg spoke about the similarities between Blue Valley and Highland Park with Rick Holter, KERA's vice president of news. Trigg also talked about state funding for schools, public vs. private schools for Park Cities families, and more.

Interview Highlights: Tom Trigg…

…On moving to Highland Park:

"Highland Park is a really unique school district – very, very high-performing, very, very supportive community, and quite frankly, a number of similarities to Blue Valley, where I’m coming from. And I think as my wife and I looked at this possibility and opportunity, we felt like it was a really good match and decided to, you know, I guess, take somewhat of a risk and do some exploring and hopefully, go to Highland Park and make a difference."

…On the handling a situation similar the Highland Park student reading lists controversy:

I just think it’s really important to be great listeners and to understand that people are going to have differing views, and those views need to be valued.

…On whether he considers himself a “reformer”:

“I want to learn as much about Highland Park as quickly as I possibly can. Then, what I want to do, is work collaboratively with the Highland Park team to determine what’s next for us. How can we improve the education of the kids in Highland Park? Because we all know the minute we think we’ve arrived, we start declining and sliding backwards. So, you know, “reformer,” I don’t know that that necessarily is a title that you would attribute to me, but I think what I do try to do is provide innovative solutions in areas that will help enhance the education for kids.”

Former KERA staffer Krystina Martinez was an assistant producer. She produced local content for Morning Edition and She also produced The Friday Conversation, a weekly series of conversations with North Texas newsmakers. Krystina was also the backup newscaster for the Texas Standard.
Rick Holter was KERA's vice president of news. He oversaw news coverage on all of KERA's platforms – radio, digital and television. Under his leadership, KERA News earned more than 200 local, regional and national awards, including the station's first two national Edward R. Murrow Awards. He and the KERA News staff were also part of NPR's Ebola-coverage team that won a George Foster Peabody Award, broadcasting's highest honor.