The Alton School Board has named Dr. Russ Tepen as the next principal of Alton High School. The Jerseyville native was appointed to the position following a 45-minute closed session meeting and was given a standing ovation by board members following the announcement. He will replace the retiring Barb Gillian when her contract expires at the end of June.

Dr. Tepen has spent the last 8 years working in the Hazelwood School District, where he currently serves as an assistant principal. He says that working in Hazelwood has prepared him for the challenges he’ll face in Alton.

Tepen also says that the biggest challenge for him as he transitions into this role will be to get a real lay of the land.

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District Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Spells said that Dr. Tepen was their top choice because of his 18 years of experience and his familiarity with many of the district’s initiatives that are underway at Alton High.

The board also listened to the concerns of Kelly Lendhardt, the mother of a sophomore football player at Alton High. She gave a short speech and then presented the board with a petition signed by her son and 160 other students and parents asking for the board to reinstate Dwight Tungett as head football coach. Tungett was dismissed from the position on January 30th after the Redbirds finished the season 0-9.

In other business, the board accepted a $556,000 bid from Envirotech Incorporated for abatement work at West Elementary. The St. Louis based firm will removed nearly all of the asbestos from the school when renovations begin this summer.

(Copyright WBGZ/ )