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Morris High School shuffles leadership roles

MORRIS – Athletic leadership responsibilities are set to change this school year at Morris Community High School District 101 as Jeff Johnson, assistant principal, takes on some of the leadership roles formerly associated with the athletic director position.

“We started planning in March for transition as Mr. Dergo moves toward retirement in the next two years,” District 101 Superintendent Pat Halloran said Thursday.

Athletic Director George Dergo will continue with management duties while Johnson takes on some of the leadership roles.

Johnson said he’s put a lot of thought into the position and feels he would like his career path to lead to the athletic director post that will open as Dergo retires.

“I’ve always been involved in sports and coaching, it’s always been a passion of mine,” Johnson said. “This gives me a chance to get my feet wet.”

In previous years, Johnson coached both basketball and football at Morris.

He said moving toward the athletic director position is not just a good professional move for him but also will be good for the district.

Dergo said in a transition period Johnson will be able to learn the job gradually, and learning the position this way will be beneficial to the district.

“Duties and responsibilities are different in the athletic office than they are in the main office,” Dergo said. “We work together, but we are different.”

Halloran said he cannot think of a better way for Johnson to learn the job than to do so while Dergo is still there to help him.

In order for Johnson to take on some of the duties – such as managing the athletic budget, evaluating coaches and making staff recommendations – some of his current duties as assistant principal will be reassigned.

Halloran will be taking over teacher evaluations.

“I’m excited to get back in the classroom and work with the staff on evaluations,” Halloran said.

School nurse Tracy Steffes also will take on a bigger role with attendance that falls under Johnson’s current responsibilities.

For 2016, when Dergo is set to retire and Johnson is anticipated to take over, Halloran said a replacement for Johnson’s current position is expected to be hired to focus on student discipline.

The district will then continue with four administrators as it has now.

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