Welcome to Thomas McKean High School and our proud Highlander Family. Our school is turning 51 years old this year, and, for the past 50 years, McKean has been known for having a staff and student body that is tight-knit and supportive of one other through thick and thin.
Our goal is to help each student get a job now, as well as explore career options for their future. In order to achieve this goal, we take a multi-tiered approach to supporting students at their achievement level. Our staff collaborates both as professionals and with our students' families, we have some of the strongest vocational programs in the state (for example, our FFA became a State and Regional Champion Chapter and competes this fall for national recognition, we have several student-run businesses, including a catering business, an auto repair shop, and a fully functional preschool to name a few), and we are the most diverse school in Red Clay and our diversity is one of our strengths (30% Caucasian-30% African-American-30% Hispanic, with 25% Students with Disabilities and 15% English Language Learners). We expect our students to engage in community service projects, to learn from their mistakes, and to grow into leadership opportunities. Our staff strives to find the right supports for each and every student, so please partner with us to find what works best for your child. We are blessed with many resources and the best staff around.
One of the most common questions asked by our freshmen students each year is “What is a Highlander anyway?” …Please indulge me as I try to answer.
Did you know we are the only school in the country named after Thomas McKean, a proud Scottish-American who signed the Declaration of Independence, and Highlanders are native to Scotland - McKean’s homeland?
Scotland has 3 distinct geographic regions: The Border with England, The Lowlands, and The Highlands. By its name, you might correctly guess that the Highlands have a lot of tall hills. It is the most northern, remote, and mountainous part of Scotland just as McKean is located in the area of highest elevation in Delaware, impossible to reach by public transportation, difficult to find by car, and the building is set back off of the road. Then, once you make it here, you have to manage our maze of hallways, much like the many rooms of an old Scottish castle.
The Original Highlanders were a very strong people enduring the rugged landscape and weather. They were self-sufficient and independent as a group, which helped them develop into a close-knit clan system. Because of their distance to trade routes, they typically did not have much money, but their wealth was in the strength of their clan, their fierce fighting force, and in their Highlander Hospitality.
Highlanders are tough, proud, resourceful, brave, big-hearted, and tons of fun.
Highlanders are you.
Highlanders are me and my staff.
Highlanders are the 50 years of strong prideful and loving people that have attended and worked at Thomas McKean High School.
In our building, “if these walls could talk….the stories they would tell.” We have had 50 amazing graduating classes walk the halls of McKean High - they have become business leaders, politicians, artists, Olympic and Professional athletes, professors, doctors, lawyers, actors, bankers, some of them are your parents and relatives; and we are the only high school in the state with TWO Super Bowl Champions.