Less than two weeks after Houston ISD representatives held a community meeting on October 17 to solicit input during a search process, Michael Niggli, the principal of Waltrip High School, was named the next principal of Bellaire High School.
The announcement was first made on Bellaire High School’s Instagram and Twitter pages, and Niggli further held a meet & greet with the neighborhood on October 28. In 1997, Niggli began working for HISD as an English instructor at Austin High School. Prior to taking over as Waltrip’s principal in 2018, he first served as an associate principal at the district’s Sam Houston Math, Science, and Technology Center. According to an HISD profile, he has also coached basketball and debate during his time there.
Niggli graduated from San Francisco State University with a bachelor’s degree and Grand Canyon University with a master’s degree in educational management. Michael McDonough, the former principal of Bellaire High School who resigned in October and declared his intention to retire in January, will be replaced by Niggli. In May, after the district launched an ongoing inquiry at the school, McDonough was temporarily relocated.
Community members questioned authorities at the community meeting on October 17 about the probe and McDonough’s retirement, but they refused to answer them, citing district policy. According to a presentation on the search process given at the Oct. 17 meeting, Niggli underwent an interview process before being named principal at Bellaire High School. This process involved interviews with the district’s area superintendent, a community interview panel, and Superintendent Millard House II. Niggli’s start date has not been declared.