In Loving Memory of
    Principal Michael O. Hightower (1956 - 2009)
    Family members say Mike Hightower was passionate about education and agriculture. Mr. Hightower died in February 2009 after a courageous battle with cancer. Students from Smith-Barnes, Red Oak, and Rock Spring elementary schools honored their past principal by collecting thousands of dollars for cancer research.
    It was a dream of Mr. Hightower to one day have an outdoor classroom where students could appreciate their surroundings in absence of the confines of a traditional educational facility. His dream became reality via a $5,000 Lowe's grant and the collaborative efforts of teachers and countless volunteers. Mrs. Ryan, 3rd grade teacher, and her husband dedicated dozens of hours to ensure Mr. Hightower was honored appropriately in the construction of this worthwhile memorial.
    Rock Spring Wins Grant for Outdoor Classroom
    Rock Spring Elementary School is a step closer to completion of its outdoor classroom, with the addition of a $5,000 grant to aid in its construction. Click here for details.
    Mike Hightower was an amazing person. He always looked for the good in everyone. He was a matter - of - fact principal and he often provided me with stories of his experiences during his career as an educator. He also had a sense of humor that made me laugh often. He was a great listener and teacher and I wish I had more time working with him. He is dearly missed. Toni L. M. Obenauf, Ed. D.
    Mr. Hightower really put the needs of the children first.  If it made sense and he could do it, he would find the funds to support student learning.  While all of us would like to have this claim, Mr. Hightower realized the reading program was lacking in kindergarten and in first grade, so he called us all together way before the building was finished to look at some different  reading programs that had track records of really working.  His desire was so evident when he worked out a deal with Cindy Cupp for her to deliver the materials to save on shipping and a big IOU for the materials to pay when the funds were available after our fundraising attempts.   We often meet throughout the years at ROE and adjusted the programs to fit the needs of the children. He listened and reflected very well. 
    Also, Mr. Hightower was a down to earth kind of boss who had a twinkle in his eye that made coming to work enjoyable.  You could always find him eating his lunch in the lunchroom with the office staff or lunch staff and he always was there to meet and greet the children. 
    He loved his job and he loved us!!
    Marianne Bahnsen
    His dash was short but MAN……. What a memorable dash (HE made a Difference!)You know the old saying, “Only the Good Die Young” in this case it is definitely true. HE WILL BE MISSED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Read more ...
    Janice Ross
Last Modified on August 10, 2020