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Alber returns as LPHS principal

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The saying “Once a Slicer, always a Slicer” is ringing true yet again as LPHS welcomes back Mr. Chris Alber as the newest principal.

Alber was approved unanimously by the school board Monday night to take over for Ben Tonagel. 

“I am extremely excited for this opportunity to return to LPHS! I am humbled and grateful to hear from family, friends, and colleagues congratulating me on the new position,” Alber said.

Alber was a standout during the interview process and a clear choice for the committee tapped to find a new leader for LPHS.

“Mr. Alber clearly rose to the top choice among the interview team as the strongest candidate to fill the LPHS principal position.  We are excited to see his commitment to students and learning continue at the high school,” Dr. Jane Larson, assistant superintendent of secondary education, said.

Alber was an assistant principal at La Porte High School from 2008-2014 before taking over as building principal at Riley Elementary for the past six years. The opening at LPHS allowed Alber the chance to get back into the secondary setting.

“My background is in secondary education, and I feel the high school setting aligns with my strengths as an educator. It is difficult to leave Riley Elementary, but I have wonderful memories of my time at La Porte High School, and the opportunity to return was too good to pass up,” Alber said.

That return is bittersweet though. Alber and the Rocket staff saw a great deal of success including being rated an “A” School by the IDOE the last two years and Alber winning the IASP District 2 Principal of the Year in 2019. His time at the elementary level pushed him to grow as a leader and educator, which should benefit him in his new role.

“The elementary level has prepared me to better understand the complete landscape of the K-12 experience involved in educating our students. The challenges of leading my own building helped shape my philosophy and hone my leadership style. I hope my passion and love of learning is contagious for both our students and our faculty,” Alber said.  

It won’t be an easy transition, as Alber will take over in the midst of a global pandemic that closed schools around the country in March. His focus right away will be navigating around the new normal to ensure the Slicer staff is doing what is best for all.

“My biggest priority will be to collaborate with Mr. Francesconi, Dr. Larson, and the school board to help our students and staff adjust to the changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our goal is to continue to provide a quality education and a safe and secure learning environment,” Alber said.

After that, Alber is committed to finding curriculum and programming that addresses the needs of the students as well as utilizes the already outstanding facilities and programs offered. 

“I am interested to hear what courses or programs the students, parents, guardians, and teachers recommend and why they think it would add to the La Porte High School experience. I am intrigued about the possibilities the Performing Arts Center will provide for our students and our community. We will continue to adjust our curricular offerings to meet the needs of our students and the community of La Porte,” Alber said.

While a great deal of his time will be spent at school and events, Alber enjoys spending his spare moments with his family, especially his wife Gina and son Chase. He is an avid sports fan and loves attending and participating in anything he can. 

The rest of his time is wrapped up in finishing his Ph.D. from Indiana State University. All of his course work is finished, so he is just in the process of completing his dissertation. 

A full plate certainly won’t be new for Alber, and he is ready to get started in the fall. It will be a special homecoming for him, and one he is sure to not take for granted.

“The students and staff at La Porte High School make our school special. ‘Once A Slicer, Always A Slicer’ is a state of mind, and I have been so impressed with watching the positive contributions of our students in the school and in our community,” Alber said.

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