Whitehouse High School has a new principal though he is a familiar face to many within the district. Josh Garred has 18 years experience in education, 12 of those in administration, the last four of which were spent as principal of Whitehouse Junior High School.
Garred began his new position as WHS principal Monday, June 4, conducting several interviews for open positions at the school.
“I’m very excited to be here at the high school. It’s a dream come true for me. I can’t wait to get to know staff,” Garred stated before adding, “I can wait for the kids to come back because we have so much to do.”
Though born in Denver, Garred grew up in San Antonio and attended Harden Simmons in Abilene after graduating high school. His first position in education, teaching math, was actually secured before Garred had graduated Hardin Simmons, though he had completed his coursework.
Garred was employed at Ennis Junior High, Abilene Wylie High School and Kaufman High School before accepting a position at Robert E. Lee High School. While working at Lee, the family built a house in the Whitehouse Independent School District. All four children of Garred and wife Krystal are attending Whitehouse schools.
Krystal Garred is also employed by WISD teaching health science technology and CNA classes, being a nurse by trade.
“She’ll be here, but I won’t be her boss,” Garred said, making clear he would not be in line to supervise her work. “She’ll go through a different strand. Leanne Jamison is the CTE director and she’ll evaluate her.”
With the many changes taking place in WISD, Garred believes that having already served within the district and knowing the processes will allow for an easier transition.
“A major goal of mine is to meet with all of the staff members, every single one of them, and sit down and ask them some basic questions about their time here,” Garred noted, indicating his intention to discover what they like, what they’d like to see changed and any advice they may have to offer.
The largest change moving from a junior high to high school campus is the fact that everything exists on a bigger scale with every decision affecting a greater number of people, according to Garred.
“Making sure you have more people that are being communicated with is what it comes down to,” Garred stated. “It’s still about the people. At the junior high I built relationships and understood people and their strengths and their weaknesses and tried to put them in the best position to succeed. That’s the same thing I’ll do here.”
Garred says he will guide his decisions based on keeping Whitehouse High School a student-central campus.
“Every decision we make should be made in order to help students be successful,” he said.
Garred sees his style as one of collaboration, or team leader, without shying away from the decision making responsibility of his position. He acknowledges everyone has his or her own area of expertise, including himself.
“I think I do a good job relationally with people. I love people. I love talking to them and I think that reflects in how they respond to me,” he noted.
Garred’s advice for students is fairly basic: choices made in high school will affect one’s future.
“This portion of their life seems like it is going on forever, seems like an eternity, but a lot of the options that they will have will be based on the choices they make over the next four years,” Garred said. “So I tell them, whether if feels right or not, whether they are motivated or not, do their absolute best while they’re here and that will open up options for them for the rest of their lives.”
He noted that it was especially important for teenagers to understand how the decisions regarding the use of social media could impact their lives even in the future.
When it comes to parents, Garred sees them as the “greatest asset” to the school.
“We need them to support their children, to help to hold them accountable and to listen to the kids and help them through issues,” he stated. “It has got to be a partnership ... We need the parents to help us do things that we can’t do when the kids are at home.”