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New AHS principal settling in

News Photo by Julie Goldberg Left to right, E-House Principal Romeo Bourdage, Dean of Students Katie Nimcheski, Alpena High School Principal Thomas Berriman, and F-House Principal Steph Hitchcock are getting ready for the start of the new school year.

ALPENA — Three weeks after being named the new principal of Alpena High School, Thomas Berriman has officially started his tenure and is ready to get started.

“I’m excited to be here in Alpena,” Berriman said. “This was the perfect opportunity for my family and I’m excited to get the new school year rolling.”

Berriman’s most recent position was at Byron Center Charter Schools in Byron Center, where he was the principal and superintendent for four years. Byron Center Charter School is a public school academy that has all K-12 students in one building.

The new principal made the move to Alpena with the support of his wife, Holly, and three children, Avia 2, Badin, 1, and Emma-Coe 2, months.

“My wife and I wanted somewhere where we can settle down permanently and live for an extended period of time,” Berriman said. “Alpena gives us the perfect opportunity to make that happen.”

Berriman received his bachelor’s degree from Lake Superior State University in social studies. After graduating from LSSU, Berriman worked in Lansing for a year as a social studies teacher before he moved to North Carolina.

“While in North Carolina, I worked from 2007 to 2013 as a social studies teacher at Montgomery County Schools and then spent the 2013-2014 school year there as both the assistant principal and instructional coach,” Berriman said.

Throughout the school year, Berriman will be seen at Alpena student events, which will include robotics, sporting events, and school dances.

“I’ll be at school events as much as I can,” Berriman said. “Having three children all under the age of three will make some events tough to attend, but I’ll definitely be attending events while I’m here as the principal.”

With the school year starting in just three weeks, Berriman and his team are working to get everything ready for the staff when they have to start preparing for the school year on Aug. 22.

“There’s been a lot of change in the school district from last year,” Berriman said. “With all the changes that have happened, we want to make sure that everyone is situated and ready to go on Aug. 28 when the school year officially starts.”

Berriman said he has a good support system with the staff that he gets to work with at the high school and is going to continue making Alpena High School the best place possible for both the students and staff.

“I’m ready to get into the classrooms and meet the students of Alpena High School,” Berriman said. “I want to have a positive presence both here at Alpena High School and in the Alpena community.”

Julie Goldberg can be reached via email at jgoldberg@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5688.