Highland Says Goodbye To Long Time Assistant Principal

Katie+Ieremia+left+a+huge+impact+on+Highland+students+and+faculty.
Katie Ieremia left a huge impact on Highland students and faculty.

Katie Ieremia left a huge impact on Highland students and faculty.

Madison Anderson

Madison Anderson

Katie Ieremia left a huge impact on Highland students and faculty.

Alex Sutton, Associate Online Editor

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Despite the food, friends, and overall good feeling that the first Friday of the school year brought to teacher and student alike, the afternoon brought a more somber feeling. After school, and surrounded by friends, Katie Ieremia gave some of her last thank you’s as an administrator at Highland in the very commons area she had helped design while serving here. The food, great stories, and laughter couldn’t overshadow the fact that Highland was losing a legend.

Ieremia has been at Highland for about 20 years including the time she spent as a student. She met her husband here, was an editor for the Rambler, and even got the Sterling Scholar award in English. When she graduated, it was Dean Collett and his impact on Ieremia’s life that motivated her to come back to Highland in 1999 as a librarian, teacher, and later, an administrator.

“When I got hired in 1999, it was like coming back to a group of friends.” Ieremia said. Her past teachers were now her co-workers and that transition was seamless for her. While she has been in a variety of positions at Highland, she was most recently known as the athletic director in 2010, and serving as an assistant principal. Now, Ieremia is leaving her home at Highland to become the Library and media specialist at the Salt Lake School District.

What made Ieremia so well known around Highland was her devotion to the students.

“What mattered most to Katie was whatever issue in front of her,” Chris Jensen, Principal at Highland said. It wasn’t rare at Ieremia’s farewell to see this philosophy of hers in action. She was cheering on a student for getting their GED one minute, then talking about her time at Highland the next, the whole time making every little interaction personal. Ieremia treated students like friends, and genuinely cared about their experiences.

“It has to be that way, you have to treat every student like they are the most important person in the world and their problem takes priority over everything else, because in that moment, it does.” Ieremia said.

Ieremia still has strong ties to Highland, her husband is in the announcer box at football games, and her own children go to the preschool at Highland. “Highland was my baby before I had babies,” Ieremia said. You can tell by her devotion to the school that although she may no longer be at Highland, she’ll still be around, and her mark on the school will be lasting. She helped with the layout of Highland for the remodeling that put the lunchroom where a series of art classrooms once were, and during her time as a Language Arts teacher at Highland, she was the only one to teach a reading class.

Ieremia may be leaving, but the impact, memories, and friendship she has at Highland are here to stay.

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