Hello, my name is Thad Gates. I am very proud to be embarking upon my fourth year as the principal of Florence High School, and my nineteenth year as an educator. I am originally from a small town in the mountains Colorado. I graduated from Eagle Valley High School in 1993, then attended the University of Northern Colorado where I earned my bachelor’s degree in Secondary Social Sciences. After teaching for a year in Colorado I moved to Arizona and began teaching social studies as well as coaching volleyball and track at Skyline High School in Mesa. During that time, I earned my Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University, and was hired as an Assistant Principal and Athletic Director at Westwood High School in 2003, where I spent the next 10 years of my career before being selected as the Principal of FHS in 2013. The past four years at Florence High School have been the most rewarding of my career, primarily due to the amazing students and dedicated faculty and staff members that I have the pleasure to guide, support and lead in our pursuit of continued success and overall excellence at FHS.