Midlothian Heritage High School is on track to open its doors to the freshman class of 2014-2015.

As she prepares to lead the way for the first class, Principal Krista Tipton is anticipating a great first year.

Tipton, who has served as an assistant principal for Midlothian High School for the past eight years, said she is excited about this opportunity and being able to influence young hearts and minds.

“I’m thrilled to have this opportunity,” Tipton said. “My goal is to provide opportunities for kids to see themselves, not as who they are now, but who they have the possibility of becoming. I want them to be exposed to so many different ideas and possibilities that will inspire them to follow their desired career path.”

One way Tipton will ensure that happens is by promoting collaboration among students and teachers. She said through the use of technology tables, and open learning workspaces, this is going to create a learning environment that allows students to become more engaged in the learning process.

“We plan to utilize such tools as technology tables and project based learning as a way of relaying information,” she said. “We feel it’s important for students to focus on things such as problem solving, research, collaboration and sharing. In this setting, students will become more involved in the learning process and it will also challenge their learning.”

Tipton said she feels this philosophy better prepares students for the workforce.

“Employers aren’t just looking at those students who graduated with a diploma,” she said. “They are looking to see who can effectively communicate and those who have the ability to solve problems.”

“We want to lay down that framework for their future,” she added. “Academics is definitely number one in our book, but it’s so much more than that.”

Tipton said she wants every students to feel like they have ownership in their school and to be excited about the things that are going on there.

“Midlothian High School has done a great job of finding a niche for every kid, and I want to model that,” she said.

Tipton said growing up, she loved attending school. As a military brat, she attended 10 different schools, but she always felt like school was a safe, fun and good place to be. When her father retired from the Air Force, she was able to complete all four years at the same high school. She said it was during that time in her life that the foundation for her career was established.

She said she wasn’t sure what she wanted to teach, but she knew it had be high school aged children.

“I took a lot of classes in college,” Tipton said. “One day I finally decided to go see an academic counselor. He told me that if I decided to got into teaching and realized that I don’t like it, I could always go and do something else.”

Tipton said once he spoke those words, she went straight to the registrars office and declared her major in biology with a minor in chemistry. She received her teacher certification, and moved to Midlothian where she got her first teaching job.

“Midlothian is my home,” she said. “We’ve been here for 20 years. We moved here right out of college and I fell in love with teaching.”

Tipton said she is thankful that the Lord opened this door for her, and it came at the right time. She said being the principal of MHHS was a desire of her heart, and she is still pinching herself to make sure it’s all real.

Follow Melissa on Facebook.com/MelissaCadeWDL or on Twitter@MidloMelissa.Contact her at 469-517-1450 or melissa.cade@waxahachietx.com.