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Lincoln Southwest principal stepping down to take administrative role with Iowa district
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Lincoln Southwest principal stepping down to take administrative role with Iowa district

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Mike Gillotti likes to remind his students of a simple truth: Everybody gets where they need to be in life.

That's how the Lincoln Southwest High School principal feels about stepping down after six years to become the associate superintendent of teaching and learning at Bettendorf Community Schools in Iowa.

Gillotti announced the move in a letter to Southwest families Thursday.

"It's bittersweet," he said Thursday in a phone interview. "I loved being the principal at Lincoln Southwest. At the same time, I was looking for what might be a professional challenge for me."

Mike Gillotti

Mike Gillotti has been named principal at Lincoln Southwest.

Gillotti, 40, replaced Hugh McDermott in 2015 at Southwest after serving as associate principal at Lincoln North Star High School.

He graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a bachelor's degree in secondary education in 2005. He went on to teach social studies at North Star before being promoted to instructional coordinator and later associate principal.

He earned his master's degree in American history instruction from Nebraska Wesleyan University and a master's in education administration from UNL in 2012.

An LPS spokesperson said the district will begin the process to find his replacement but has no timeline on when a hire might be made.

Gillotti says he'll miss the people the most and called his time at Southwest the "most rewarding years" of his career.

"I always say I have the best high school principal job." 

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Contact the writer at or 402-473-7225. On Twitter @zach_hammack


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Education reporter/Night content coordinator

Zach Hammack, a 2018 UNL graduate, has always called Lincoln home. He previously worked as a copy editor at the Journal Star and was a reporting intern in 2017. Now, he covers students, teachers and schools as the newspaper’s K-12 reporter.

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