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Koppes moving to Rock Creek

By Bryan Richardson

After a five-year stint as Woodrow Wilson Elementary principal, Eric Koppes will have a homecoming of sorts as the new principal of Rock Creek Junior/Senior High.

The USD 323 school board approved the hire of Koppes at its meeting this week. Koppes, who left USD 323 eight years ago, previously taught at Westmoreland Elementary and Rock Creek Junior/Senior High.

Opportunity is the operative word that Koppes uses when describing his decision to take on a new challenge. “Throughout my career, I always told people to continue to challenge themselves and take opportunities,” he said. “This was my opportunity to do the same.”

Starting next year, Koppes’s challenge will be taking his experience as an elementary principal and applying it to older students. “Philosophically, the approach at elementary and high school can be very different,” he said. “But the components of quality instruction and learning are the same at any level.”

USD 383 Supt. Bob Shannon said he expects for Woodrow Wilson to have a new principal named by early April. Shannon said Koppes did a great job leading the school, specifically mentioning his leadership during construction issues this school year.

“Eric has been a strong instructional leader and principal at Woodrow,” he said.

Koppes said he’ll miss the Woodrow Wilson community and appreciated the student centeredness of the education, which he considered “second-to-none.”

“That’s pretty rare in this day and age,” he said. “That’s something I’ll truly miss.”

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