Dean Collett turns 90, marking 63rd year at Highland

Max Torres, Staff Writer

Dean Collett turned 90 last Sunday, to which Highland celebrated with Dean Week. Dean has been working at Highland since the year it opened, his position at the school always changing. He started as a math teacher, and now is a Freshman Success counselor. When asked on his experience with Highland for 63 years, “ I love this school. Each year has brought new memories and brought back old ones. I love watching my students excel, and become better.” Dean’s birthday was celebrated with Dean Week, which was comprised of many decorations, an ice cream party, and lots of love. With all the years of Dean’s amazing service, it’s no wonder this is such a big deal.

Dean started as a math teacher in 1956, the year that Highland opened. The school, has a beginner could not acquire all the normal 4 grades, so they had seventh through tenth grades which came from other high schools near Highland.

Once Highland could get students through the twelve grade, Collett was asked to teach German as well. He had served in Germany with the Army during the Korean conflict time, so the school thought he was capable of teaching that class.

Collett was then later asked to teach Russian to the students. The school really wanted a class for this foreign language, and Collett was asked to teach it. He had previously in his life served a LDS mission in Sweden, and Highland considered Swedish close enough to Russian for Collett to teach that class. To do this, he joined a class at the University of Utah to stay ahead of his class in Russian. Then, that summer he went to San Francisco State to become more in tune with the language for classes next year.

Collett held these positions in German and Russian until 1980, after which he became a counselor. Here he has stayed at Highland since.  

Collett was and still is a great counselor, and has always been good at helping the students through their life at the school. He has the skill of being able to see what they need to progress and succeed at Highland. He was asked to direct the Freshman Success program, which helps Freshman get used to this new, big, and scary school. It has been very good for the students, and many other schools in the area our using it to begin their own program.

“ Freshman Success is a program that helps those new students adjust to high school. We let students know how they are doing, and help them become better if they are dropping in grades”.

His duties have also encompassed the faculty adviser to the cheerleaders and the yearbook. He is very devoted to this school, as in he has never missed a Highland football game!

Collett has been, and still is a major part of Highland High School. In the past and today. If you see him walking in the halls, our sitting at his desk, make sure to give him a wave. We owe him.