McDermott named WHS principal

Tim McDermott

The Waterloo School Board appointed a new Waterloo High School principal on Monday, appointing an individual who both attended and has spent his entire career here.

Currently serving as interim principal, Tim McDermott will be serving in the role full-time for the foreseeable future.

He has been known most recently as the school’s assistant principal for the last three years, though he has long served at the school as an agriculture teacher since 2004.

McDermott has always been a Waterloo local, growing up just outside of town on a family farm along the way to Red Bud.

“Always been in the community,” McDermott said. “My family has been here the whole time, and it’s good to continue my career as an administrator within the same school district.”

He attended Ss. Peter & Paul Catholic School before graduating from Waterloo High School.

From there, he attended the University of Illinois to earn his bachelors in agriculture education before jumping to McKendree University for his masters in education leadership.

McDermott offered an understandable description of how he wound up in education with a focus on agriculture, having grown up on a family farm while getting to know many teachers who had a strong influence on him.

“My decision to enter education was actually based on several teachers that I interacted with when I was a student here at Waterloo High School,” McDermott said. “My high school agriculture teacher Doug Hanson was a mentor and supporter through my time as a student and challenged me to try new opportunities and to get involved, and that interaction sparked my interest to enter education and to provide that same level of support to students.”

McDermott further explained how, as he was teaching, his experiences overseeing FFA helped him develop leadership skills and his understanding of students, leading him to believe he would enjoy a similar administrative experience on a larger scale.

McDermott noted how his entire career has taken place in the district, specifically WHS, and he spoke very positively about his experiences.

“I have been very fortunate,” McDermott said. “Throughout my career, I’ve worked with some highly talented students, and I think that’s one of our strengths as a school district. Our students are interested in learning and want to experience opportunities to continue to improve. When you put that with teachers and staff that are high-quality and energetic to help students, it’s been a great place to work, it’s allowed me to learn from each of those groups.”

He further expressed anticipation at stepping into the principal position. Though he’s naturally somewhat anxious, McDermott said he generally feels excited and prepared given his experience.

“With any new job, there’s a degree of nervousness and unknown, but the experiences that I’ve had as assistant principal and as an educator this whole time in the district, I feel prepared to provide that leadership to the building and in the community,” McDermott said.

Former WHS principal Lori Costello, who resigned at the end of last year as she took over as regional superintendent of school role for St. Clair County, spoke highly and hopeful of McDermott and the work she expects him to do.

“I think Tim is going to do a fantastic job,” Costello said. “I’m excited to see he is going to be leading the high school forward. I feel like he’s so deserving. He’s done a fantastic job as the assistant principal for the last couple years.”

Waterloo Superintendent of Schools Brian Charron offered a similar sentiment.

“Mr. McDermott has dedicated his career to Waterloo CUSD5 as a high school teacher, vocational department chair, union president and high school assistant principal,” Charron said. “Tim’s perspective and expertise has been consulted on many matters and initiatives, on a regular basis, throughout his tenure with WHS.  I’m thankful for him stepping in as interim principal for the second semester of this school year, and I anticipate a smooth and successful transition under his leadership as the next principal of WHS.”

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Andrew Unverferth

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