Starting a new chapter
Associate principal Dr. Jacob Garlinger named new Griffin Middle School principal
May 11, 2023
Having started his career as a band director in Richardson ISD for 11 years before moving to Hebron for another 11, associate principal Dr. Jacob Garlinger will be starting a new chapter of his career next school year as principal of Griffin Middle School.
Garlinger grew up in Houston and was prompted to enter the field of education after the impact of his band director, Randy Vaughn, at Klein High School.
“He was just very patient, understanding, kind and is very much [who] I modeled myself after,” Garlinger said. “I think I [decided to be an assistant principal because I] was looking for what I perceived [as a way] to make more of an impact on kids. I like supporting all programs, kids and helping people through tough times, and Hebron was a great opportunity to [do so]. [Being an AP has] allowed me to branch out, [and] I couldn’t have handpicked a better place to be.”
“He was like my ride or die [during my first year at Hebron],” Boughton said. “We have just forged a really close bond over the last four years and he has meant so much to me, not only as a colleague, but also as a friend. He’s been there for me through thick and thin and I am going to miss him so much. I know he’s going to be across the road and we can call each other at any time, but I’m really sad to lose him.”
During his time at Hebron, Garlinger said he finds it important to try and work with and show support for as many programs at Hebron as possible to ensure students feel recognized. According to junior Sophia Woodberry, a choir and color guard member, Garlinger has, on multiple occasions, exemplified his attention to different groups and programs at school, showing his care for the student body.
“Coming from a [middle] school where fine arts weren’t necessarily supported, I expected the same treatment here at Hebron,” Woodberry said. “But since I’ve been in high school, Dr. Garlinger has been one of the biggest supporters of the fine arts community. [He’s] always a familiar face at every choir, band, theater and color guard event. I appreciate how much support he gives us [and] it just shows that we matter as much as other [programs].”
Garlinger said Hebron has provided great opportunities. He has garnered an uncountable amount of memories throughout the years, but has especially enjoyed interacting with and forming relationships with students, as well as witnessing the positivity and support they have for one another.
“I spend more hours here than I do at home, and when you work for 11 years with people, they become your family,” Garlinger said. “So [I’ll] definitely [miss] the people and the kids, [especially] shaking [student’s] hands as they cross the stage at graduation — that’s such an emotional time and it’s really fun to watch kids do that.”
As the end of the school year nears, Garlinger has said he’s excited about taking on the role as principal, despite there being a learning curve that comes with it. However, he has a strong support system in multiple colleagues — such as Boughton, a former principal at Griffin — who he is able to go to with questions as he navigates this new chapter.
“In middle school, it’s more about [trying] several things and narrowing down what you really [want] to pursue in high school,” Garlinger said. “[I want to send] the message that school is a safe place to be and, regardless of where you come from [or] what you look like, we’re going to help support you in [it] all. It’s been a really great time here at Hebron. Eleven years is a long time, [and] I’m definitely going to miss everybody — students, teachers [and] staff. But I’ll just be up the road.”