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Newport Native Named Principal at Newport Primary School

Newport native Matt Atkins, who attended Newport Independent Schools and graduated from Newport High School, has been named principal of Newport Primary School.

Atkins, a 2000 graduate of Newport High School, was hired as principal by the Newport Primary School Site-Based Decision-Making Council (SBDM), which under Kentucky law has the responsibility of selecting the school's principal.

"I am very proud of the work and success of Newport Primary School," said Newport Independent Schools Superintendent Kelly Middleton. "Hiring a school principal is one of the most important decisions a school council has to make. I would like to thank the site-based council for their time and effort in making this important hiring decision.

"Principal Matt Atkins has deep roots in Newport and will provide the necessary leadership to keep the momentum of the school moving forward."

Atkins pointed out that both he and Newport Primary School Assistant Principal Nikki Hayden are Newport High School graduates.

"I am proud to be a Newport High School graduate leading Newport Primary School," Atkins said. "It is exciting for two Newport High School graduates to be leading our school.

"Becoming a principal at Newport has always been a goal. I am excited about the opportunity to work with everyone to have a positive impact on our kids. All students can learn at high levels. As educators, we must set high expectations for all students and continue to push them to reach our standards."

As principal, Atkins said that his main goal is to increase student achievement as the instructional leader of Newport Primary.

"We will continue to focus on developing and implementing plans to ensure our kids are proficient in reading and math," he said. "In addition, we will continue to focus on creating a positive school culture at NPS. This school year, we implemented the Wildcat Way where we revealed a rule of the Wildcat Way each month at a school-wide assembly. Our teachers also taught lesson plans created by our Change Team Committee to reinforce the rule. In the end, it is important that our students are not only achieving academically, but we are also teaching them lifelong skills to be successful."

Atkins was also a standout athlete at Newport High School. After graduation, he attended Thomas More College, where he served as team captain of the football team and was named All-American his junior and senior seasons.

Atkins received his Bachelor's degree in Education with a focus in History from Thomas More College and earned a Masters of Education Administration and Rank I Certificate from Xavier University.

He has been with the Newport schools for 11 years and has held a variety of positions, including social studies teacher, behavior intervention teacher, and assistant principal. He also coached football for several seasons at Newport High School.

Atkins and his wife, Sarah, are the parents of two young children, Isabelle, 8, and Caleb, 6.

-Staff report