Familiar faces take top spots at Forest Park

Herald Staff Writer

FERDINAND — Forest Park Junior-Senior High School will have a new administrative team come January.


Wednesday evening, the Southeast Dubois School Board hired Jim Mehling as the new school principal and Jarred Howard as his assistant. Current Principal Jeff Jessee announced last month that he will retire at the end of the calendar year.

Mehling, 54, has been the assistant principal at the school since July 2004. He has spent his entire teaching career in the corporation, starting in 1981 as a math teacher and head baseball coach. He also has served as the eighth-grade girls basketball coach.

Mehling graduated from Forest Park in 1977 and then attended Indiana State University on a baseball scholarship. He earned a bachelor’s degree in 1980 and later earned a master’s degree. In 1997, he received a secondary administrator’s license.

Mehling said after the board meeting that he is grateful for the new job.

“I’m looking forward to the next challenge,” he said. “I really appreciate the board giving me the opportunity to serve as the principal here at Forest Park.”

Mehling lives in Ferdinand with his wife, Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann.

Howard, 38, is a business and vocational teacher at the school, where he has also spent his entire 16-year teaching career. He took over the head baseball coaching position from Mehling in 2000. Originally from Calhoun, Ky., he received a bachelor’s degree in 1998 from Oakland City University.

He returned to the school for a master’s degree in business management and received his administrative certification from the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Ky., last fall.

He said this morning that he is glad to join Mehling as the new school leaders when the spring semester begins Jan. 3.

“We’re excited to get started,” Howard said. “We’ve got a great community and a great school here.”

Howard lives in Ferdinand with his wife, Natalie, who is also a Forest Park teacher, and their three children, Drew, 10, Reid, 8, and Bree, 3.

Contact Claire Moorman at cmoorman@dcherald.com.

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