Education

Former art teacher returning to High Mount School as principal

In this 2006 file photo, former High Mount Elementary School art teacher George Wilkerson works on a mural inside Swansea’s demonstration library. Wilkerson will return to High Mount next year as its new principal.
In this 2006 file photo, former High Mount Elementary School art teacher George Wilkerson works on a mural inside Swansea’s demonstration library. Wilkerson will return to High Mount next year as its new principal. News-Democrat file photo

High Mount School will have a new principal starting next school year, but he’s a familiar face to some in the community.

District 116 Superintendent Mark Halwachs said the school’s new leader is a former High Mount teacher: George Wilkerson. He will replace Darin Loepker.

After eight years as principal at High Mount, Loepker will become Shiloh Middle School’s new principal.

“I wish Mr. Loepker the best of luck in Shiloh,” Halwachs said. “I hope he continues to make a difference.”

Former Shiloh Middle School principal Jeff Alt will begin working in Freeburg District 77 as the high school district’s director of technology.

Wilkerson is returning to High Mount from Red Bud Elementary School, where he worked as an assistant principal for the last two years. Before that, Wilkerson worked for 15 years as a High Mount art teacher, according to Halwachs.

“He knows the culture, the climate and the history,” Halwachs said.

During the job interview, Halwachs said Wilkerson also had ideas for improving communication between the principal’s office and the staff, as well as with the community. Wilkerson plans to start using Twitter and to increase the school’s use of Facebook, according to Halwachs.

“I think he truly cares about High Mount,” Halwachs said of Wilkerson’s return to the school.

High Mount School served 479 students in pre-K through eighth-grade in 2016, the latest data available from the state, and employed about 28 teachers.

Lexi Cortes: 618-239-2528, @lexicortes

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