New Harrisburg superintendent talks growth


The fast-growing district in Lincoln County welcomed students back Thursday.

It’s Tracy Kern’s 19th year, welcoming students back to school.

“Every year my classes get bigger and bigger and bigger,” CTE Teacher Tracy Kern said.

“You walk down the hallways and you see people you’ve never seen before, people you don’t know. And then you see people you’ve grown up with,” Student Macie Coleman said.

Kern teaches out of the high school, one of nine schools in the district.

“When I first started we had 750 students. That wasn’t in the high school, that was actually K-12,” Kern said.

While the final numbers aren’t in yet, the early estimate of this year’s enrollment is about 5,175 students, according to the district’s new superintendent Tim Graf.

“We’re looking at an increase of probably 350 plus students this year,” Superintendent Tim Graf said.

Graff calls the increase “pretty significant,” and it’s driving expansion.

There are several building projects underway right now, including the freshman academy, the CTE building and addition, a new P.E. facility, and a new elementary school.

Plus, Graf says at some point they’ll have to build a new middle school.

“It’s exciting, but it’s also challenging. Thankfully, we’ve got some really great people around that have already been involved and I’m just learning at this point,” Graf said.

“Looking at all the different opportunities we can offer students, it’s pretty incredible,” Kern said.

Graf says the district is also building a new bus barn.

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