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Uttecht will be new Cedar Principal

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HARTINGTON — The search is over.

Cedar Catholic and Holy Trinity have hired a new principal.

Chris Uttecht, the current principal at Wisner-Pilger High School, will be taking over at both Cedar Catholic and Holy Trinity.

Holy Trinity Pastor and President Fr. Owen Korte, who headed the Cedar Catholic Search Committee, said the search has concluded after reviewing six applications and interviewing three candidates.

The search committee included: Amanda Potts, Michelle Paltz, Brian Pinkelman, Scott Schrempp, Kurt Dendinger, Nancy Hochstein and Rob Bengston, 

Uttecht accepted the position after current principal, Terry Kathol, announced he will be taking an assistant principal job at Pius X in Lincoln next school year. 

Uttecht said he looks forward to continuing the path that Kathol laid down during his time in Hartington

“I’m honored and humbled to be selected as the new principal,” said Uttecht. “These are some big shoes to fill, as Mr. Kathol has been very successful there.”

Kathol started as a teacher and coach here, then became principal at Holy Trinity Elementary before transitioning to oversee Cedar Catholic, as well. 

Uttecht has been principal of Wisner-Pilger High School since 2002, and welcomes the added role of administering the other grades.

“It will be a challenge but a challenge that I look forward to, working with elementary students and teachers as well,” said Uttecht.

Before becoming principal at Wisner-Pilger, Uttecht spent two years at the school as a science and math teacher. 

Uttecht grew up in Elgin, graduating from high school there as Valedictorian of his high school class. 

After graduating, Uttecht attended University of Nebraska-Kearney, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude in 7-12 Science Education. Uttecht then furthered his education at Wayne State, where he received his Education Leadership Certificate in 2002.

During his time at Wisner-Pilger, Uttecht oversaw a staff of 25 teachers, and “led the development of the PLC’s (Professional Learning Community) which happens to be a top priority [at Cedar Catholic] as a result of our AdvancEd certification,” Fr. Korte said.

Uttecht looks forward to continuing with the AdvancEd certification that Kathol recently helped secure in Hartington.

“[My first goal is] to maintain that academic excellence, and to continue to help the school grow and prosper,” he said.

Uttecht plans to move to Hartington with his wife, Stacy, who is principal at St. Mary’s, Wayne. The couple has four children.Casandra Kerkman, lives in Battle Creek and will be getting married in Wisner this summer. Both Jordan and Justin Kerkman have made their homes here in Hartington, and Cadyn Uttecht will be a freshman at Cedar Catholic.

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