Tuttle Announced as New Principal for Hickory High School

Tuttle Announced as New Principal for Hickory High School
Posted on 05/30/2019
rebecca tuttle

Tuttle Announced as

 New Principal


Hickory High School


HICKORY… Effective July 1, 2019, Rebecca K. Tuttle will serve as the new principal for Hickory High School (HHS). Tuttle currently serves as the principal of Hickory Career and Arts Magnet High School (HCAM) and has served in that role for the past two years. The current principal of Hickory High, Katherine Morningstar, has selected to serve in another position with Hickory Public Schools.

With 14 years of experience in education, Tuttle has already secured a lifetime of leadership opportunities in serving students, their families, and the community. Her career includes award-winning years as a coach for both soccer and basketball, teaching exceptional children (EC), serving as a department chair, organizing multiple professional organizations, and she was a presenter at a national conference addressing the “pursuit of extraordinary outcomes” in public education.

Among her list of achievements, Tuttle served as principal for summer school programs (multiple years); and she was a homebound instructor and a facilitator for Special Olympics. Tuttle served as testing coordinator, head of all high school discipline initiatives, and continues to serve as an active teacher evaluator and role model for her school teams. On top of these duties, Tuttle was also named the HPS Teacher of Excellence in 2013—recognized by the district and the state.

Following Tuttle’s undergraduate education at Belmont Abbey, where she earned a degree in educational studies and psychology (while attending school on a soccer scholarship), Tuttle began her journey in education with Gamewell Middle School in Caldwell County.

Tuttle joined Hickory Public Schools in 2008. Selected to serve as a middle school EC teacher at Catawba Valley High School, she was soon promoted to the director of occupational course of study (OCS) where she strengthened partnerships with the business and health communities. During this time, Tuttle was honored by Frye Medical Center for her outstanding leadership and community success.

Moving into the administrative arena as assistant principal at Hickory High, Tuttle also served as the HHS assistant athletic director.  Tuttle was responsible for the leadership of several high school concepts and initiatives such as the academic intervention, Smart Lunch, and community projects with various local businesses including the HHS renovations led by Corning volunteers.

With a passion for working with exceptional children, Tuttle encouraged high school student leaders to develop the Project Unify—an organization where student leaders assist and oversee various educational and community opportunities for fellow students, such as Special Olympics.

Tuttle completed her Masters in Educational Administration from Appalachian University in December, 2014.  While a graduate student, she was the recipient of an academic scholarship that afforded her the opportunity to travel and study “diversity in education” through professional training in New York.

As principal of Hickory Career and Arts Magnet High during the past two years, Tuttle has led the magnet school to a new level of success. “People often think if you have been a principal at one school, you can be a principal at any school; but that’s not necessarily the case,” said Tuttle. “You have to learn to adapt and shift with your surroundings and environment. HCAM taught me how to shift and become better at leading both students and teachers. We have accomplished much during my two years at HCAM, from community partnerships to academic achievements. HCAM now has multiple community partners including Hickory Rotary, Corinth Reformed Church, and BB&T.

“In addition, we formed the school’s first successful Parent Teachers Association (PTA); and for two consecutive years, the school won first place for the Hickory Parade.  We held the school’s first Spring Fling and hosted academy events such as the Culinary Entrepreneur Luncheon and staged theatrical performances.

“The HCAM SkillsUSA competition achieved first place in North Carolina and our students competed on the national level. And perhaps most importantly,” said Tuttle, “HCAM strengthened the state’s letter grade from a C to a B. The graduating classes of 2018 and 2019 each earned nearly $1Million in scholarships to attend higher education.”

Born and raised in Lenoir, NC, Rebecca is the daughter of Larry and Irene Tuttle. She is mother to one middle school son and when not busy with educational endeavors, Tuttle enjoys time with her family, music, and exploring outdoor activities.

In accepting the leadership role at Hickory High, Tuttle states that she is honored to become the new principal. “I believe that I am returning home. I understand the demanding tasks before me, but I am excited about returning to the flagship school of Hickory Public Schools. It’s truly a gift in my career journey to work with another outstanding team while building excellence in secondary education,” she said.

“I look forward to seeing familiar faces and meeting new faces.  Hickory High has always been known as a triple threat high school—excelling in the academics, the arts, and the athletics.  I look forward to leading the school community to a powerful level of greatness!”


(Photo/post by Beverly Snowden, HPS director of communications)

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