When it comes to places to live and work, residents say Highland is the best.
The reasons they cite include the friendly residents and town businesses, excellent schools, services, parks and festivals, Main Square events, the downtown, the bike trail and Highland’s small-town feel and proximity to Chicago.
Lifelong Highland resident and six-term town Clerk Treasurer Mike Griffin attended Southridge Elementary, Highland Junior High and Highland High School.
“Except for my brief sojourn at Bloomington, while in undergraduate school, I have always called Highland, home,” Griffin says. “I am looking forward to my daughter Abigail attending Kindergarten at Warren Elementary School this fall.”
Griffin has many wonderful things to say about Highland.
“I am sincere when I say the people of Highland are the best boss I have ever worked for or served,” Griffin says. “This is saying something as I have had some really great bosses, including Congressman Pete Visclosky, and Larry Woods of Larry’s Clark to name two among many.”
Griffin says most of the members of the business community, while committed to honorably prospering in commerce, are equally committed to community.
“They seem invested in the long term prosperity of the town,” Griffin says. “I hope they find our relatively lower tax climate fostered by sound fiscal stewardship, our quality public services, our location, our economic development focus—recruiting and developing new business investment while retaining existing business presence and our commitment to a fine quality of life, all to be part of what makes doing business in Highland desirable.”
Griffin says he deeply embraces living in Highland in part because it is so aligned with his sense of place, where he lives, works, plays and most importantly serves.
“What I most like about Highland is the combination of schools, public services including our parks and private investment all working in concert making this place, a wonderful location for businesses to earn and for families to work, play, and live well.”
Griffin’s family loves the activities at the Main Square very much, regularly attending the annual lighting event to usher in the Holiday Season.
“We very much enjoy the Independence Day Festival at Main Square and the Annual Independence Day Parade,” Griffin says. “In fact, we love the parks system generally and try to get to the parks on bike rides when we can. My wife and daughter Abigail are very good about getting to our neighborhood park and our nearby school playground as weather and schedules permit.”
Griffin says he has a very special and warm regard for the Highland Community Band.
“When I worked in the Parks and Recreation Department, I helped organize it,” Griffin says. “I recruited its current Director, Greg Jasek. I actually played with the band in its nascent years but since I have a teaching assignment at Indiana University Northwest that falls on the same night as band practices, so I to retire from my participation. However, I am often asked to serve as the narrator/master of ceremonies for the Community Band. I enjoy this very much.”
Lori Leep moved to Highland after she married her husband Bill, a life-long Highland resident. Minus a brief time in Crown Point, she has lived in Highland 23 years. The Leeps’ have three children Adam, Rachel and Noah. The family owns Pleasant View Dairy which was established by her husband’s grandfather in 1932. Leep’s husband, one of his brothers and a cousin are the third generation to be running the business.
Leep says she loves how Highland feels like a small town where you often run into people you know.
“You can get to the post office, video store, parks even restaurants by walking or riding your bike on the bike paths,” Leep says. “As a small business owner, we support other locally owned businesses as much as possible. The shop owners are very friendly and often will go that extra mile to help you and genuinely want you to be satisfied.”
Leep says her family enjoys going to Main Square, Wicker Park, to the high school plays and various activities and events at Lincoln Center.
“I love how you get the small town feel in downtown Highland and there’s also Highland Grove Shopping Center with the chain stores,” Leep says. “Highland is also close enough to Chicago to go there for things.”
Leep says her family has had positive experiences in the Highland School system.
“You can be as active as you want in the schools,” Leep says. “The School Town of Highland keeps parents informed and requests input from us when changes are taking place.”
Bridget DeYoung, who is President of Highland Main Street and a redevelopment commissioner, has lived in Highland about 28 years since she was nine. She is married and has four children.
“My mother grew up in Highland,” DeYoung says. “My grandparents lived on Lincoln Street since I was born. We came to their house every couple of days.”
DeYoung says she loves living and doing business in Highland.
“It is close to the city, the town is filled with great people and families,” DeYoung says. “I have excellent neighbors. It is affordable for me, close to the expressway and local universities.”
DeYoung says she likes to shop local.
“Highland offers honest and trustworthy businesses,” DeYoung says. “Mostly I love the down town.”
The DeYoung family enjoys Langel’s pizza.
“I love to run on the bike trail,” DeYoung says. “The rookery is fantastic. We also enjoy all the parks – especially the baseball parks.”
DeYoung says she enjoys having the opportunity to get involved in Highland.
“I like that,” DeYoung says. “I want to be part of a community where I can serve and make a difference. I also want my kids to understand that giving back is part of being part of a community of good people.”