Jeff Thompson, Elizabeth Allred

Willcox High School Principal Jeff Thompson, shown here presenting the student of the year award to Elizabeth Allred, told the Willcox Unified School District governing board he was resigning to take a new position in Benson.

WILLCOX — High School Principal Jeff Thompson has found a new job and offered his thanks to Willcox for the good times.

Thompson told the Range News the hour-long commute from his home to work has taken its toll and it was time for him to move along.

“The big reason is my health and the drive,” he said. “The drive was just wearing on me. Willcox has come a long way, so I took a new job in Benson, which is only 29 or 30 minutes from my house.”Thompson has worked with WUSD for six years, coming from Ohio.

“I think we have Willcox going in the right direction. The scores have gone up every year as far as the assessment scores, and the kids have responded. I always treated Willcox as a home away from home. And my door was always open and I give the community, and my bosses and staff, a lot of credit for letting me come in and making me feel at home,” Thompson said.

WUSD Superintendent Kevin Davis explained to Range News that when looking for a new principal, most schools start searching in January. However, since Thompson left later in the year, the district will probably hire an individual from within the district on an interim basis.

“Mr. Thompson decided to move on, and we’re sorry to see him go. It’s late in the summer to find someone outside of the district, so we have posted the job opening for a qualified candidate on our website. My hope is that we can find someone in the district,” Davis said.

“We really need to get going, so what I would like to do is leave the job posting up, conduct interviews — as many as possible — and then have a decision made (as to whom to hire as a replacement) to recommend to the board at the July 2 board meeting,” he continued.

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