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Administration

Dr. Karen Gauen-Principal


K Gauen
Bio: Karen Gauen, a National Board Certified Teacher, has been in education over 40 years, teaching at the elementary, secondary and college levels. She taught in St. Louis, Missouri and Mission Viejo, California before coming to Highland in 1993; moved into administration in 2012. Karen has a Bachelor's and Master's Degree from SIUE, a second Master's from National University in San Diego/University of California, Irvine and a Doctorate from Lindenwood University. Karen is married to Patrick Gauen.  Together, they have three children (Dr. Chris Stephenson, married to HHS grad Jennifer Rogier Stephenson; Bethany Horstmann, married to HHS grad Ben Horstmann;  Heather Hutches, married to Mike Hutches) and five grandchildren (Caleb, Adam, Jonah, Isaac and Abby).   She enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her family.


Email - kgauen@highlandcusd5.org

Curriculum, School Leadership, School Improvement, Supervision and Discipline


 Mr. Caleb Houchins- Assistant Principal/Athletic Director



Bio: Mr. Caleb Houchins begins his third year as Assistant Principal/Athletic Director at Highland High School and 17th in education.  He began his career at Pleasant Hill High School in 2001 and moved to HHS in 2004.  He has taught American History, Health, Physical Education and Government.  He earned an undergraduate degree at Western Illinois University, an M. A. in Sports Management from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville and his Administration Certification in 2015.  His wife, Heidi, is a counselor at Triad High School. Together, they have two sons -- Cale and Nolan.  Mr. Houchins enjoys playing golf, reading and spending time with his family.  He's excited to be part of the HHS Administrative Team!



Athletic Director,Student Discipline for 9th and 11th grade, Teacher Evaluations, Supervision, Student Activity Director, School Leadership, & School Improvement,


Dr. Chris Becker-Associate Principal


Bio: Dr. Chris Becker begins his fifth year as Associate Principal at Highland High School and 21st year in education.  Becker previously served 8 years in Ball-Chatham CUSD #5 as an Associate Principal, Assistant Principal, and Athletic Director.  Prior to administration, he taught 6th Grade, high school history, assisted Pre-K, and coached several sports. Chris’ educational background includes a Doctorate and Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership with a Superintendent Endorsement from SIUE, a Master's in Educational Leadership from the University of Illinois-Springfield, and a Bachelor's in Education from Illinois College.  He recently earned his Ed.D. in Educational Leadership at SIUE and published his dissertation on Learning Communities.  Becker is married with three daughters.  In his free time, Chris enjoys reading, sports, exercising, music, fishing, and spending time with family.  He states, "I am excited to work with the Highland community helping to make a positive difference in the lives of students, parents, and staff.  We work hard to maintain a positive climate and culture that helps students reach their goals."

Attendance, Student Discipline for 10th and 12th grade, School Safety/Disaster Drills, Supervision, School Leadership, School Detentions Program, S.T.O.P. Program, Short-Term Option Program, Attendance Officer, SAP Team Member, Attendance and Truancy