CLINTON — Departing Clinton High principal Karinne Tharaldson Jones now has a successor.
The Clinton School board on Monday unanimously approved current CHS associate principal JohnRyan (“JR”) Kuch as the new high school principal during its regular meeting. Kuch, 31, was in attendance with his wife, Abbey Nagle-Kuch. While the two live in DeWitt at the moment, they plan to make Clinton their home in the future.
“I would just like to say thank you very much for the opportunity to lead the high school,” Kuch said prior to the board’s vote. He was hired two years ago by Tharaldson Jones and said he appreciates the environment. “We really do have the best staff and the best students, and I couldn’t have walked into a better situation.
“Clinton High is in good hands. I’ve got a great team behind me.”
VIDEO: Kuch on why he wanted to be principal
Tharaldson Jones’ contract officially expires at the end of the month.
Kuch grew up mostly through the North Scott School District in Eldridge, briefly moving to Muscatine before returning to graduate at NS High. He then attended St. Ambrose University, where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 2005.
His first two jobs were at elementary schools. After teaching fifth grade and coaching basketball at North Scott, Kuch said he felt it was time for a change.
“I kind of realized I wanted to do something different,” Kuch said. “I felt I had a bigger calling.”
Kuch returned to SAU and obtained a master’s degree in education administration as well as an MA in reading and literacy from Warren University. By the time he arrived in the Clinton School District, he reflected thankfully that Tharaldson Jones was able to see past a career spent mostly in elementary classrooms.