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When Kristopher Alexander was looking for the next step in his career as an educator, he chose to be Fountain Hills High School’s next principal not because he wanted to build something from the ground up, but rather build upon what he considers a great foundation.

“I don’t think the culture at Fountain Hills High School needs to change, but rather be built upon,” Alexander said. “I want to continue the great things that have been happening there.”

Alexander has being in the education field for 17 years, starting as a social studies teacher at Mountain Pointe High School. He would go one to be an assistant principal and athletic director at Desert Mountain and most recently was the principal of a charter school in Phoenix.

Alexander said he was attracted to Fountain Hills because of the high school’s reputation and the small-town feel of the community.

“Fountain Hills reminds me a lot of my little hometown outside of Minneapolis,” Alexander said. “Even down to the schools. My hometown had one elementary school, one middle school and one high school, too.”

After working in large district, Alexander said he is looking forward to the chance to form a more personal connection with the students he’ll be guiding. Along with those students, Alexander is also looking forward to having a close relationship with the staff and the community.

“First and foremost I am a very collaborative person,” Alexander said. “I don’t like making decisions in a vacuum, I like to include as many people as I can. Ultimately, I’m the one responsible for making the decision, but people buy in more when they feel they have a say.”

Alexander said he enjoys the high school grade level because of the formative time it is for students.

“I had some fantastic teachers along the way, especially in high school, and I want to provide that opportunity for others,” Alexander said. “It’s exciting to see students come in as freshmen and then in four years transform to a student who is ready to go out into the real world.”

Part of forming that more personal connection with the students, Alexander said he is looking forward to getting the chance to attend school concerts, plays and dance recitals.

“I am a sports guy, but I really enjoy all aspects of high school,” Alexander said. “It would scare me to death to have to go out on a stage and recite lines. So seeing a student do that with ease is awesome.”