HMS principal stepping down, joining HHS staff

Harpeth Middle School Principal Ryan Philipp announced Thursday that he is stepping down as principal at the end of the 2018-2019 school year.

Philipp, who has been with the district for 13 years, will serve as the academic specialist at Harpeth High School next school year.

A 2001 graduate of Harpeth High School, Philipp taught at HHS for eight years before being named the assistant principal at Cheatham Middle School. After two years at CMS, he was named the HMS principal in 2016.

Philipp said the following about his decision:

It has been one of the greatest honors of my life to come back home and serve as the principal of Harpeth Middle School for the past three years. At this point in my life, though, I have three little ones aged 5, 3, and 8 months that are simply calling for more of my time than this position currently allows.

I believe strongly in the adage that you’ll never regret spending too much time with your children and at 36 years of age, I feel that it’s time to press pause and revisit school administration at a time down the road when they are a little older and I’m better able to dedicate the proper energy to giving the job of a school administrator all I have.

Harpeth Middle is a fantastic place, with amazing staff members and students, and a wonderful and supportive community, and I couldn’t imagine a better place to have had this opportunity. I’ve made lifelong friends at HMS and I can’t thank all of my friends and colleagues enough for supporting me as principal every day and helping to make these three years so successful and fulfilling as an educator.  

I also want to extend a sincere thank you to Dr. Beck, Dr. Watson and Stacy Brinkley for their amazing support and guidance during these past few emotional weeks. I know that I surprised them when I first floated the idea of stepping back from this position, but their kind and understanding approach to every aspect of this tough time has meant more to myself and my family than I can even express. Their leadership and compassion with their staff members represents a primary reason why I couldn’t imagine leaving this district.

To that end, while I am deeply torn on leaving HMS, I am honored to get to return to another place that has been very special to me in education career in Harpeth High School. I will be working with Dr. Rector, Shannon Schliwa and the amazing staff at HHS as their academic specialist starting in the fall, and I look forward to continue serving and supporting the students and staff of the southern cluster in this new role.

Thank you so much again to everyone at HMS for everything these past three years and for giving me an opportunity to lead such a fantastic school and a fantastic group of students, staff and parents. It has truly been an incredible honor.