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New Assistant Principal Signs on at Highland High School

Highland High School (HHS) has welcomed a new assistant principal: Brandon Opitz. He is filling the position that was left vacant by Evan Kirsch, who recently accepted a job at another school district.

Opitz comes to Highland from the Wappingers Central School District, where he had worked as a Physical Education teacher and coach at the Junior High School since 2016. He became an administrative intern in 2022, and assisted with developing grade-level team-building activities, implementing restorative practice techniques, and analyzing student data to help inform instruction. During that time, he also filled in as acting assistant principal and was a school safety liaison and building wellness coordinator.

Opitz moved to Highland two years ago and said he enjoys the tight-knit feel of the community. He has two young sons, both of whom will attend Highland schools in the future, and feels honored to have the opportunity to be a part of such an amazing school district. “Highland is a small town but it has so much to offer,” he said. “It is a wonderful place to work and raise a family.”

Opitz holds a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education from SUNY Cortland and a master’s degree in Health, Physical Education, and Recreation from Emporia State University. He is currently working towards earning his Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Administration from SUNY New Paltz, a program he will complete in May.

He began his career in education at the Red Hook Central School District before spending a year in Hyde Park. He said he is excited about his new position, and plans to spend the next few weeks meeting students, faculty, and staff, and working closely with the High School team to ensure a smooth transition into his role.

“I am looking forward to building relationships and continuing to get to know the Highland community,” he said. “Everyone has been amazing so far and has welcomed me with open arms. It is a wonderful sign of the great things to come.”

HHS Principal Kevin Murphy feels fortunate to have Opitz join the Husky pack. “His coaching background, combined with his impressive team leadership skills, will be a tremendous asset to our school’s commitment to providing a positive and inclusive learning environment where students can achieve their full potential.”