High school undergoes administrative changes

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By Rachel Christian

After 15 years as Mount Vernon High School’s top administrator, Tom Russell will serve his final day as a Wildcat next week.


For Russell, the final two-week push of exams and ceremonies arrive with a sense of finality this year.

He is leaving after a lengthy career as both an educator and administrator. He is a Mount Vernon graduate, and served as an industrial arts instructor for many years.

Russell said he is ready for the next chapter of his life and a restful retirement. By June, he plans to have his boat on the water and his fishing line cast.

“It will be different at first, I’m sure,” he said. “Things that I used to be in charge of won’t be my responsibility anymore.”

That task will fall to current high school Assistant Principal, Matt Thompson. He has worked in his position under Russell for three years.

Thompson said he was aware of Russell’s intentions long before the announcement became official. The promotion comes with added responsibilities and challenges, but Thompson said he is committed to his new position.

“I see Mount Vernon as the school I retire from,” said Thompson, who is currently earning a PhD in Education from Indiana State University. “I want to continue to build upon a great legacy in upcoming years.”

On May 8, the MSD of Mount Vernon School Board approved the employment recommendation of Justin Fisher as assistant principal at the high school, effective this fall.

Fisher has served as an assistant principal for five years at a small junior-senior high school named North Vermillion, located about 25 minutes north of Terre Haute.

Fisher is a Rockport native who said he is looking forward to relocating to Mount Vernon this summer in preparation of his new job.

“I felt a good connection with many of the folks here since my first visit,” he said. “It is an opportunity to be closer to my family and work with educators and administrators I admire and see eye-to-eye with.”