Mr. Durst transitions from assistant to head principal


With the coming of each school year, many new teachers and students take their new places in the classroom. A familiar face took his new place behind the principal’s desk.

Mr. Matthew Durst, the assistant principal under former principal Mr. Ryan Bernath, now holds the position of interim principal. Formerly seen throughout the hallways dealing with the daily affairs of disruptive students, Durst now runs the school with a fresh perspective, eager to leave his mark.

Early in his career, Durst, fresh out of his master’s program, was a school counselor at the high school. For four years, he worked in the counseling office providing students with help on nearly every conceivable topic.

When Mr. Dilbone, the principal at the time, moved to administration, Bernath received the principal’s job. Durst was given the opportunity to take the unoccupied position of dean of students.

After discussing the decision with several of his most trusted coworkers, Durst assumed the role. The change, however, was not easy. For Durst, the new position “took some getting used to.”

“I would say it was an adjustment for me,” Durst said. “As the counselor, I was the good guy. All of a sudden, you’re the Dean of Students, and you’re the bad guy.”

Although not a fan of “negative interaction with students,” Durst said he was firm and did what needed done. Durst even acquired a trade name for his duties: “Dursting.”

Last spring, yet another great change in Durst’s career took place. As Bernath was promoted to the Assistant Superintendent position, Durst was a logical choice to fill the vacant spot. Along with Scott Carpenter, he has taken over the day-to-day management of the school.

Once again, he must deal with the adjustment. Durst, who had a great amount of respect for Bernath, said he was more hesitant about the move to principal.

“It’s easier to follow someone who’s lousy, than to follow somebody who’s really good at what they do,” Durst said.

In the coming future, students will know Matthew Durst as the school’s principal, and according to Durst, he does not plan to leave anytime soon.

“I’m not a ladder climber, ” Durst said. “I try to be as present-focused as I can be.”

As he embarks on this new journey as the leader of the school, his mark will be made on the legacy of the school.