New principal chosen for Columbine High School; KC Somers to succeed retiring Frank DeAngelis

LITTLETON, Colo. - A new principal has been chosen for Columbine High School to succeed Frank DeAngelis, who helped shepherd students and the community through the 1999 shootings and the aftermath.

Jeffco Public Schools said Wednesday that KC Somers, an elementary school principal in the district, will take over when DeAngelis retires at the end of this school year.

Somers is principal at Blue Heron Elementary. He was previously assistant principal at Chatfield Senior High School.

DeAngelis led Columbine for 18 years and was there on April 20, 1999, when two students fatally shot 12 other students and a teacher. DeAngelis led about 20 students to safety and survived with no physical injuries but suffered from severe anxiety attacks.

He was widely seen as a symbol of stability and resiliency after the shootings.

DeAngelis, a social studies teacher turned administrator, had been principal of Columbine High School since 1996. He was honored in 2013 as Colorado High School Principal of the Year by the Colorado Association of School Executives.

He told 7NEWS while the name "Columbine" will forever be associated with the tragic shootings, he hopes people will also think of the 13 victims -- and the lessons they've left behind.

"Hopefully that'll be inspiration for others to know it doesn't matter how much tragedy enters your life, there's hope for a brighter future," he said.

RELATED:

Long-time Columbine High School principal Frank DeAngelis announces retirement: http://ch7ne.ws/13WyhTY

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