Hello, I am Dave Collins and I am so excited to be principal at TOPS!
I am beginning my 20th year in education and have worked in several different school settings. I began my career as an elementary teacher before moving to the high school level. After a few years at the high school, I then returned to the elementary setting as a Program Assistant (i.e. Assistant Principal). I was fortunate enough to be able to work in several different elementary schools throughout the next three years, gaining a wealth of experience in a wide variety of school climates, cultures, and socio-economic settings. The beginning of the 2009-2010 school year brought about another opportunity for me to expand my experiences by returning to the high school setting as an assistant principal. It is there that I realized being in a high school setting is the ‘right’ place for me. I remained an assistant principal for the next nine years, however my responsibilities during those nine years changed drastically throughout the years. In looking back over the past nine years and all the experiences I have had, it is hard for me to believe everything that has happened in that relatively short amount of time. My responsibilities have included being Career & Technical Education (CTE) Director, supervising the high school Special Education Department, overseeing the Online and Distance Learning Program, overseeing the high school Alternative Learning Program, and many other smaller responsibilities.
Most of my free time is dedicated to my family and their activities. I have a 13-year-old son who is active most of the year with baseball. As with most teenagers, he ‘knows’ everything and therefore feels obligated to remain in his room playing PS4 any time he is not playing baseball. I also have a 9-year-old daughter who is always involved in something whether it is dance, softball, swimming, riding horses, or just being a social butterfly with her friends. And lastly (but not least) wrapping up my family is my patient, loving wife who keeps us all on schedule.
TOPS is designed with the non-traditional student in mind and therefore we are a TEAM of educators who are looking to provide non-traditional paths allowing our students to obtain their high school diploma. My many experiences over the years in education have led me to see one gleaming theme develop over time and that is that the ‘traditional brick and mortar school house’ is becoming increasingly less ‘traditional’. As our lives, environments, and cultures become more globally connected, I believe educators must be the link enabling students to make this global connection.
Although we have had some major transitions this summer and have hit a few bumps in the road, we appreciate everyone’s patience over the past month, now, and as we start the new school year. We are having fewer and fewer bumps so I am sure we are slowly moving from gravel/ dirt roads to smooth pavement! 😊