Bellevue Principal John Darnell joins the nest


Courtesy of John Darnell

John Darnell, who is the current principal at Bellevue High School, has been assigned into the position of principal at Highlands High School.

     For the second time in the last four years, a new principal will be landing in the nest.

     Last Thursday, John Darnell, who is the current principal at Bellevue High School, was announced as the new HHS principal. 

     When Darnell was young he always enjoyed school. He attended Russell High School, which is located in Northeastern Kentucky. 

     “I grew up in a family that really valued education and pursuing a college degree.”

     With Darnell being a 2001 Governer’s Scholar at Northern Kentucky University, he soon decided to apply to be a resident advisor with the Governor’s Scholar’s Program (GSP). After his sophomore year in college, he had the chance to lead a seminar class at GSP, which soon got him hooked on the idea of pursuing a career in education. 

     Darnell then graduated from Transylvania University in 2006 with a BA in History and a minor in Spanish. 

     Darnell stated one of the reasons why he decided to pursue an education as a principal.

     “When I was in elementary school, I had an amazing principal. I have a few memories of Mr. Nelson Allen that are embedded into who I am. There was one instance in particular when he showed me an immense amount of kindness and love when he didn’t have to.” 

     Due to Darnell’s influential administrators, he decided to pursue Masters in Instructional Leadership, wanting to combine characteristics of the individuals he worked under. 

     “I believe teaching should spark passion, creativity, and imagination.”

     As well as this, Darnell hopes to inspire those in the Fort Thomas community to become the best possible version of themselves, supporting the students, staff, and teachers at Highlands in their growth in and out of Highlands High School. He believes that every student is a priority and can succeed in high levels of learning with the right support given to them. 

     Darnell remembers when in his younger years of school that his teachers tried to make all contexts of learning engaging, which he installed into Bellevue High School as principal and is planning to install at Highlands. 

     “There is a whole gamut of emotions when something like this happens. Other than being excited [about] this new opportunity, I am filled with hope and optimism. I am excited to partner with the staff and students at HHS to continue on the rich traditions and prepare students to pursue their ambitions and passions.”