Highland Elementary School welcomes new assistant principal

Highland Elementary School welcomed Matthew Darling as its new assistant principal on January 6.

Highland Elementary School (HES) welcomed Matthew Darling as its new assistant principal on January 6. “Since assuming my position, everyone has been so welcoming and there is a strong sense of community,” he said. “I’m looking forward to becoming a part of that community and seeing all of the learning that is taking place here.”

Darling comes to HES from the Newburgh Enlarged City School District (NECSD), where he was a Grade 5 teacher at Temple Hill Academy for six years. The educator is a graduate of Mount Saint Mary College, where he earned his degrees in Childhood Education and Special Education. He was also a valuable member of the college’s soccer team, where he played as a goalie for his entire college career. He later received his School Leadership degree from SUNY New Paltz.


The Highland Central School District (HCSD) intrigued Darling for many reasons. “Newburgh is a large district compared to Highland, which will afford me the opportunity to have an impact on all of the districts’ youngest scholars,” he explained. (At NECSD, enrollment is approximately 12,791 students in 13 schools, while HCSD serves approximately 1,725 students in three schools.) Darling is also looking forward to working with his new colleagues. “I can already see that there is a lot of involvement from leadership here, which I like, and I’m excited to work alongside the team,” he said. Geography was another plus for Darling, who lives in Highland with his wife and son.

HES Principal Joel Freer is very excited to have Darling join the school’s administrative team this year. “His knowledge of elementary level education will serve him well in his new leadership position. I have been impressed with how quickly he has jumped into his role and appreciative of the efforts he is making to become part of our school community,” he said.

As the new assistant principal, Darling has plans to focus on building relationships in the coming months. “Developing relationships with the students and supporting the teachers however they need are both important to me as I settle into my position,” he shared.