Brian Kessler is set to take the reins at East Helena High School as principal next school year, as the school grows closer to full capacity.
Kessler is the assistant principal and athletic director at Havre High School and is a former assistant principal at Helena High School. Prior to that, Kessler taught physical education and health at Helena High for five years and taught at Sleeping Giant Middle School in Livingston.
Despite moving all around the state during his past nine years in education, Kessler is a self-proclaimed "Helena guy."
"Being close to the Helena/East Helena area was a big pull," Kessler said. "Also giving myself the option to move up into my own building was always a goal."
East Helena High School opened in an unused wing of East Valley Middle School in the fall of 2019 and moved into its new building last year. The school is adding one grade level each school year and will have its first-ever junior class this fall before reaching full capacity in 2022.
"I think that is probably the most exciting thing about it. There are so many policies there that have yet to get put into place," Kessler said. "It's an opportunity to make a name for ourselves and do something for the community. We get to define 'What does it mean to be a Vigilante?'"
Kessler is a graduate of Montana State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in health enhancement for K-12. He later earned his master's degree from MSU in educational leadership. Kessler said his reason for starting a career in education was the opportunity it provides to work with kids and make them successful.
Kessler said he has known since kindergarten what he wanted to do for a living, and when he made it to high school, he took his first opportunity to mentor younger students. Being an educator is an experience that Kessler finds both fun and rewarding.
When he starts at EHHS in August, Kessler hopes to bring all the experience from his past jobs to the position.
"I want to bring my experiences from being at different high schools," Kessler said. "I also want to make sure the kids feel good and welcome in the building."
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