Clark announces retirement

Cole Schnell
Junior Editor

School board members Peter Bakker, Michael Kearney and Amy O’Brien, principal Jon Clark, student body president Dana Sell, superintendent Sarah Riss, Shrewsbury mayor Felicity Buckley and school board member Steven Loher are all smiles after the ribbon cutting on Aug. 23, where the school district and community came together to celebrate the opening of the new $22 million North Wing. Photo by Kevin Killeen

Principal Dr. Jon Clark announced he will retire at the end of this school year after 22 years of working at WGHS and 14 years of being principal.

“I’m going to miss being with the students,” Clark said.

Clark said it was difficult decision and “ultimately, I made the decision for my son, Jacob and daughter, Jenna. I want to be with them as a father on a regular basis. I’ve missed too many of their events and want to be with them as much as possible.”

Early this year, Clark won “Outstanding Administrator Award” at the Missouri State thespian conference after being recommend for the award by senior Elliot Williams and drama teacher Todd Schaefer.

Clark received the Stephanie Phillips Award through Coaches with Cancer last year and won Principal of the Year from St. Louis Area Secondary School Principal Association in 2005.

Clark said his greatest achievement wasn’t his personal awards, but the achievement of his students like record high test scores, Class of 2017 getting over $26 million in scholarships, championship-winning sports teams and an award-winning art program.

Clark has been fighting brain cancer since he was diagnosed in 2006. The community has supported

Principal Jon Clark introduce the commencement speaker. Photo by Cole Schnell

Clark through his struggle by lighting up Lockwood Avenue with luminaries to raise money for cancer research and initially members of the community wore bracelets to show their support for Clark.

“I’m thankful for the support you’ve (the students) given me,” Clark said.

Senior Trinity Baker-Simmons said, “I am happy that I will be graduating this year so I don’t have to experience Webster without him.”

Several students mentioned greeting Clark in the halls as a best memory regarding him. Clark said greeting students is one of the things he will miss the most.

Dr. Jon Clark coaching at Rolla High School. Photo from Alumni Office Archives.

“I’m most proud of the relationships I’ve built with students, staff and WG community over the years. They are all the reason I love my job so much,” Clark said.

Before Clark was principal, he started at WGHS as an assistant principal in 1996 after being a math teacher and basketball coach at Rolla and John F. Hodge High Schools.

As the head coach of Rolla men’s basketball team, Clark won 99 games. He returned two years ago to coach the Statesmen for one last game and what became his 100th win.

WGSD posted the job opening and has met with faculty about desired traits of a new principal. The interview process is planned to begin Mar. 1 and the final decision is planned to be announced the week of April 23.

See also: Breaking News: Clark to retire as principal at end of year

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