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New HHS principal

Hanford High's new principal Scott Pickle, center, is flanked by assistant principal Mark Duarte, left, and learning director John Craft. (Apolinar Fonseca/The Sentinel)

HANFORD — Hanford High School is getting a new head honcho. After spending the past three years as an assistant principal at Tulare Western High School, Scott Pickle has taken the reins as the school’s new principal from Cheryl Hunt, who is now an assistant superintendent in the Fresno Unified School District.

“I’m excited to lead what is an excellent school into the coming years and build upon the success the school has had,” he said.

Pickle was born and raised in Atwater, where he graduated from Atwater High School. He received his bachelor’s degree in physical education at California State University, Fresno and received his teaching credential, administrative services credential and master’s degree from the National University, Fresno campus. He has four children and his wife, Erin, is a sixth-grade teacher in Caruthers.

Now, after adjusting to working in a new district and being in a new position, Pickle said he is ready to begin the new school year.

“We need to be 100 percent prepared for the first day,” he said. “On day one, we need to provide the highest quality education possible.”

Pickle said his main goal and biggest challenge as principal is getting students and parents more involved with school and making them feel both supported and welcomed.

“I’ve always thought our greatest assets are our students and parents,” he said. “They’re an important part of our fabric.”

Although Pickle feels there are a lot of expectations and pressure placed on him as a principal, he said he is harder on himself.

“Hanford High expects me to lead them to the next level, and I intend to do just that,” he said.

Pickle said he intends to look at the leadership and decision-making process of previous principals for guidance if a situation arises in which he’s not sure how to proceed.

“I believe that you have to be able to understand that others have done it before you, and you need to do just as well,” he said.

Pickle said he will be able to achieve his goals as long as his decisions remain student-centered.

“Even though our goals are far-reaching, they are within attainability,” he said.

Superintendent William Fishbough said he is impressed with Pickle so far.

“He has outstanding ideas,” Fishbough said. “He really hit the ground running.”

Bobby Peters, the district’s curriculum coordinator and former Hanford West High School principal, agreed, saying Pickle “is a great guy who brings a lot of energy and a different perspective.”

The educator’s favorite night of the school year is graduation night, and he is looking forward to it even more now as principal.

“It makes it all worth it when you see students get their diplomas, but then you have to start again the next year,” he said. “It’s like one huge cycle.”

The first day of classes is Aug. 16.

The reporter can be reached at 583-2429 or jluiz@HanfordSentinel.com.

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