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SCS: Collins Named As Principal of Robert E. Lee High School

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Robert E. Lee High School (FILE IMAGE) Robert E. Lee High School (FILE IMAGE)

Release from Staunton City Schools:

(STAUNTON, VA) – Thomas Nathan “Nate” Collins has been selected as the new principal of Robert E. Lee High School. He will officially take the helm of the city’s only high school on July 1, 2017.

Dr. Linda Reviea, Superintendent, commented, “The input provided from staff and the community guided the interview process, helping to identify key characteristics of a strong leader for Lee High School. Mr. Collins comes to us with experience as a high school principal and expertise in key areas – instruction, communication, diversity issues, school construction, and knowledge of our community. We are very excited to have Mr. Collins join our SCS team.”

Collins is a valley native who began his career at Buffalo Gap High School as a U.S. and World History teacher. After four years in a teaching role, he moved into school administration, where he has spent the last 16 years of his career. His administrative work began at Stuarts Draft High School, where he served as assistant principal, then principal, for a total of seven years. He went on to work for six years in the New Kent County Public Schools system as the division’s director of secondary instruction and later as the executive director of curriculum and instruction.

Since 2014, Collins has been principal to approximately 1,760 students and 120 faculty members at Gloucester High School, which he led to full accreditation in his first year.

Before Collins’ arrival, the school had been accredited with warning for three years. He’s also facilitated significant improvement in the school’s climate, as measured by multiple, year-over-year surveys of teachers and students. Collins has been involved in school renovation and design projects in Augusta County, New Kent County, and, currently, in Gloucester County. He has also has been at the forefront of developing 21st century skills and personalized learning initiatives for students at Gloucester High School. Most recently, he led the implementation of expanded online and virtual courses and other instructional technology initiatives.

Along with his expertise in instruction, Collins also has extensive experience in several key areas, including communications, community relations and crisis management. Through weekly calls to parents, face-to-face meetings, and a robust online presence, Collins has built a reputation at Gloucester of nurturing healthy relationships with students, parents and teachers through consistent and open communication. Collins has also demonstrated a commitment to cultivating a welcoming environment for all students, facilitating the formation of clubs and organizations for students of diverse backgrounds. Collins received his bachelor’s degree in government and economics from the College of William & Mary and his master’s in K-12 educational leadership from the University of Virginia. He is currently pursuing his doctoral degree.

He is relocating to the area with his wife, Annie Thompson Collins who is a proud Lee alumna. They have two daughters – Maddie, a college sophomore, and Celie, a high school senior. They are looking forward to returning to the valley and are planning to reside in Staunton.

Mr. Collins shared, “I am honored to have the opportunity to be a part of the next chapter in the storied history of Robert E. Lee High School. I firmly believe that Lee High can be among the most outstanding high schools in our commonwealth, and I look forward to partnering with students, families, teachers, and the Staunton community to ensure the best possible learning experiences and opportunities for our students.”

In the coming weeks, opportunities will be scheduled for staff, students, parents and community members to meet and talk to Mr. Collins and welcome him back to the area and to Lee High.