The High Point Schools Partnership had the privilege of sitting down and talking with Howard Stimpson, principal of Penn-Griffin School for the Arts. Stimpson is originally from Clemmons, North Carolina. He moved to the High Point/Greensboro area to receive his undergraduate degree in Education from the University of North Carolina Greensboro (UNCG) and has stayed in the area since. Stimpson started his career in Social Studies as a student-teacher at Ragsdale High School. As his cooperating teacher was about to retire, Stimpson moved right into this position. He started at Ragsdale teaching one psychology class and the remainder being U.S. history classes. The goal of the school was to build the enrollment in psychology classes and AP psychology classes and this is just what Stimpson did. It was because of this success that he was recommended for and became involved in the Leadership Team. Stimpson stayed at Ragsdale for 10 years. From there he went back to UNCG to earn his Masters of School Administration. He became an assistant principal at High Point Central for six years, principal at the Kearns Academy for 3 years, and is currently in his 5th year at Penn Griffin.
When asked about programs he wanted to highlight Stimpson told us about a very exciting new program that is coming to Penn-Griffin. In partnership with Notes for Notes, based in California, Penn-Griffin will be starting its own modern music production program. This program will function out of a new state-of-the-art professional recording studio within the Penn-Griffin building. The school prides itself on its selection of traditional arts programs but this will bring the school into the new age of music. Stimpson is confident that the building of the studio will have made substantial progress by January 2022 and be at a point in which students can learn about the building of such a room. Penn-Griffin already offers a modern music class but this space will enhance their learning experiences. This program and space is made to target students who wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to participate in such an experience. It is because of this goal that the space will be open to an after-school program that mirrors the in-school program so students from outside of Penn Griffin can benefit too. To top off the whole space there will be a Coltrane Mural outside of the room.
Thank you Howard for sitting down and talking with us. We look forward to continuing to talk with and highlight different High Point principals and all the good going on at their school.