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KHS Principal Resigns; Says Time to Move On

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The Keokuk School District has spent the past few months filling some key administrative vacancies. That process unexpectedly grew this week following the resignation of High School Principal Zach Wigle.

The district said Wigle’s resignation letter was sent via email on Thursday, May 12. It simply stated that his resignation was effective June 30, 2016 and that he was thankful to the district for allowing him to serve as HS principal for three years.

Wigle’s resignation, and that of his wife Julie, a middle school teacher, were added to the agenda for Monday night’s school board meeting earlier that day. The board accepted the resignations that night.

Board President Jane Abell read a prepared statement just prior to the vote. In it, she thanked Zach Wigle for his time with the district.

“Zach has been an outstanding high school principal,” said Abell. “His leadership and energy have positively affected students and staff on many levels.

“Zach came to the high school at a time when a positive turnaround was needed, and with his the support of staff, has provided that in many ways. Zach can be very proud of that accomplishment.”

Zach Wigle is the fourth administrator to resign from the district this year.

  • Corey St. John (Director of Instructional Services) took a similar job in the Winterset School District. Jeri Moritz will replace him.
  • Jeremy Negus (Hawthorne Principal) will take over as an elementary school principal in Iowa City. Mike Marsden will replace him.
  • Jayson Campbell (Activities Director) is taking the same job in the Southeast Polk School District. Jason Yessak will replace him.

The district must still hire replacements for Wigle and Marsden, who previously served as Hawthorne Associate Principal. Moritz and Yessak come from outside the district.
Abell said changes are bound to happen when you hire talented people.

“We live in an age of more job mobility,” said Abell. “In former times, people came to communities, put down roots, and stayed for many years. Today, doctors, educators, company executives/employees, chamber directors, bank personnel, and many other categories of positions make more frequent moves in their careers.

“It can be difficult for those of us who have lived in one community for a long period of time to adapt to these changes. We have to accept and appreciate the time some are with us might be shorter than a number of years ago. It is always difficult telling valued members of our community goodbye.”

It’s unclear whether Zach Wigle has a new job lined up. In February, he was named the secondary principal of the year by the School Administrators of Iowa.

He wrote in an email to Tri States Public Radio that it was “...just time to move on. Not much more than that.”

Wigle attended Monday night’s meeting, but did not comment on his resignation and he left as soon as the meeting adjourned.

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.