New leadership: Bringing multidistrict experience to Sunnyvale High School

The Sunnyvale ISD Board of Trustees recently named Brian Nickel the new principal for Sunnyvale High School. The board approved Nickel's hire at a called meeting of the Board of Trustees on June 4. Superintendent Doug Williams will introduce Principal Nickel and other new SISD administrators to the Sunnyvale community at a special meeting at 6:30 p.m. July 9 in the SHS Auditorium. All are welcome to attend. Nickel’s official first day on the job will be July 1.

What are you looking forward to as the new leader of Sunnyvale HS?

I’m looking forward to getting to know the students and staff as well as becoming part of the community. Sunnyvale is a special place. I feel blessed and humbled to be given the opportunity to join such a successful organization.

Having worked at several other districts, what drew you to Sunnyvale?

Sunnyvale closely resembles Plainview High School in Oklahoma where I was principal from 2012-2017. When my wife and I saw the opportunity to become a part of a similar community, it was an easy decision. We look forward to bringing our sons to Sunnyvale. Chase is 8 and will be going into the third grade. Brady is 3 and will be ready for pre-K soon.

What drew you to the field of education?

I’ve always had a passion for helping to grow and mentor others. Being an educator and being able to make an impact on the lives of those around me is where I find my purpose and significance.

What did you enjoy most while you were teaching?

I always enjoyed reflecting on the growth that students experienced from the first day of school to the last. 

What made you decide to make the move from teaching to administration?

During my second year of teaching in Wylie ISD, an assistant principal stopped by my classroom and encouraged me to pursue administration. I hadn’t considered that before, but this conversation started the thought process that led me down the pathway towards administration. Becoming a principal was a way of increasing my sphere of influence and ability to impact change.

What has been the biggest challenge for you as the head of school?

Every day and every student in a school is unique. The biggest challenge as a school leader is to keep a fresh perspective and continue to come up with creative solutions to the challenges that arise.

What has been the most rewarding?

The biggest rewards are always the relationships.

What do you and your family enjoy doing together?

We have a young family. Our best moments are sitting together at bedtime and reading with our boys.

If you had a $1 million, how would you spend it?

Other than doing some conservative things like investing and giving, we love to travel. We would use the money to go on some family vacations.

What three things do you think will be obsolete in 10 years?

Instagram, Twitter and Facebook

What’s one thing from your teen years that you would like to see make a comeback?


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