Hornbrook named interim high school principal

Lansing High School’s Dean of Students Patrick Hornbrook (above) will be interim principal for the school year 2019-20.
Lansing High School’s Dean of Students Patrick Hornbrook (above) will be interim principal for the school year 2019-20.
Photo by Matt Montague
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Lansing High School’s Dean of Students Patrick Hornbrook has been named interim principal for the coming school year, according to Superintendent of Schools Chris Pettograsso.

Hornbrook's appointment follows the transition of the previous school principal, Colleen Ledley, to the role of district director of curriculum, instruction and assessment, according to Pettograsso.

The district will conduct a formal search for a permanent principal beginning in November with the goal of filling the position for the 2020-21 school year.

In a letter, Ledley wrote that “in this new capacity, I will have the opportunity to work with all three schools to support and lead high quality learning for all students in the district. I feel truly fortunate to have worked with so many amazing students, families and staff members at Lansing High School for the last six years. … I am excited to begin my new journey, in my new capacity as a Bobcat.”

Hornbrook is an Ithaca native whose mother was his inspiration – she taught third grade at Fall Creek Elementary School for 22 years and then math and English at DeWitt Middle School for another 16 years. He grew up playing baseball, attending Ithaca for his first two years of high school and then Avon Old Farms prep school for his third and fourth years. He graduated in 2002.
He was recruited to play baseball by Trinity University in San Antonio Texas.

Following his graduation with a bachelor’s degree in social science, he went on to get his masters in teaching at the University of San Diego in 2008.

For eight years, Hornbrook taught world and U.S. history, government and economics and coached the varsity baseball team at Clairemont High School in San Diego. He was named dean of students in 2015 and vice principal in 2017.

“In 2014, the school district decided to make a significant shift from operating as a comprehensive high school with 1,500 kids to a ‘Linked Learning Pathway School’ with four academies,” Hornbrook said.

There was “Lead the Way,” a business academy, an academy of engineering, a health and medical science academy and an academy for information technology, he said. Hornbrook was the lead teacher at the academy for information technology, helping to get the project off the ground and then doing mentorships and electives.

In 2018, he decided to come home.

“My family is still here, and I wanted to get close to my family. I am starting a family of my own,” he said. “On my way, I got a call from a friend who told me that a position was open at Lansing. I called Colleen and got an interview the next day.”

Hornbrook became dean of students at Lansing High in September 2018.

“In theory, the dean is responsible for discipline and attendance,” he said. “The wonderful part of Lansing is that there are not a lot of discipline and attendance problems. So, last year, I got creative, seeking to add value to my position. We started the Lansing High School Athletics Council and Unified Sports.”

The athletic council is to ensure that Lansing programs and coaching are held to a standard that is best for the kids, Hornbrook said.

“Working with the athletic director and dean, we can have a conversation about things that are happening – both good and bad,” he said. “We can teach kids proper leadership skills that work their way down to the field. We can ensure that our athletic programs are worthy of our children.”

Unified sports are for all kids, he said.

“There are a number of athletes with disabilities and others mentoring them,” Hornbrook said. “The goal is to give an authentic athletic experience to kids who would not normally have access to that.”

Hornbrook plans to put his hat in the ring for the permanent principal position.

“I am excited to be in this interim role,” he said. “I will get experience running the building and a chance to prove my value. My goal is to add positive attributes and let my work speak for itself.”

Hornbrook said he believes his primary role is to provide the best education possible, one “worthy of the community that we live in and serve, making sure that all the kids have an equal opportunity in classes and extracurricular activities.”

“I want to constantly give kids authentic experiences that stick with them so that they continue to do those things,” he said.

Unfortunately, Hornbrook likely will not have time for baseball, but he looks forward to this new chapter in his life.

“I am thankful to be in Lansing, a wonderful and welcoming community,” Hornbrook said. “I am proud to be a part of a school that does so much for the kids.”

In Brief:

Music in the Park - Iron Horse

Iron Horse will play in Myers Park August 15 as part of the Town of Lansing Parks and Recreation Department’s “Music in the Park” concert series.
Iron Horse is central New York’s premiere southern rock band and one of the concert series original big draws. This band has 130 years of collective stage experience and interacts with every crowd in any venue. They are known as one of Ithaca’s favorite local bands. Band lineup is Lansing’s own Mark Armstrong on vocals, Shawn Manning on lead guitar, Steve Peck on drums, and Ron Brock on bass.

This year, there will be food trucks, Meg-a-Moo’s ice cream and beverages from the Salt Point Brewery. All concerts begin at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.

Moving Landscapes 2019

Triphammer Arts Inc. is pleased to present its annual choreographers’ showcase, Moving Landscapes 2019: An Evening of Dance and Music on Sunday, Aug. 25 at 7:30 pm. Audiences will enjoy original dance works in a spectacular setting at the CRS Barn Studio, 2622 North Triphammer Road in Ithaca. Admission is free, with donations accepted at the door. The performance will take place rain or shine, and a reception will follow the performance.

This performance is made possible in part by funds from the Decentralization Grant, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with support from Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the New York Legislature and administered by the Community Arts Partnership of Tompkins County. The performance is also supported by Tompkins Trust Company and by our generous individual donors.

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