Taft 7-12 recently added a new face to their staff and promoted a familiar one into a greater role.
The school announced that teacher and baseball coach Matt Hilgers would be taking over the Athletic Director position and splitting duties at the Assistant Principal position this coming fall. Hilgers came to Taft during the 2013-14 school year and has coached in various sports throughout the school years.
“I served the Taft family in many roles between then and now and look forward to continue the work of serving our Taft family,” Hilgers said. “When I first started here at Taft becoming Athletic Director/Assistant Principal was not on my radar.”
Current Taft 7-12 Principal Nick Lupo said that Hilgers is more than capable of fulfilling his new duties and is looking forward to working together with him.
“Taft 7-12 is in very good hands getting Matt Hilgers as the new Athletic Director/Assistant Principal,” Lupo said. “I am very excited for his move to administration and I think he is going to do a wonderful job in his new role.”
The decision to take the job was aided by many of Hilger’s collegues and friends who he said were encouraging him to apply. After many discussions with his wife about the positives and negatives of this commitment, Hilgers decided to apply in hopes of bettering Taft 7-12.
“Having been in the school for over five years I feel like I have a pretty good pulse on our school and our needs,” Hilgers said. “I think there are some things we can do better and I also think there are some things that we are doing awesome. I am working with Mr. Lupo on some of the immediate goals that we would both like to see done from an athletic piece within our school.”
Hilgers said one of his main concerns this past year was the communication between administration and the parents. He thinks that’s something he can help Taft improve on immediately, as well as working toward a few other long-term goals.
The added responsibility of scheduling, transportation and public relations will be challenging for a new Athletic Director. However, Hilgers knows that there will be a learning curve and the best way to learn is be experience.
“I have to learn from my mistakes and continue grow in this new role and support our students and staff,” Hilgers said. “Creating some systems and maintaining them will be an important step. I feel like I have lots of support from our coaches, members of the community and people within our building.”
This past school year Taft said goodbye to a favorite among the staff in Richard Ceder, who has moved up to Principal of Toledo Jr/Sr High School. But luckily, Taft found a more than formidable replacement, along with Hilgers, in Maddy Anderson, who has already had experience at Taft where she worked with the GEAR UP Oregon program that focuses on getting students ready for college during high school.
“She comes with an English teaching background as well and a passion for working with students,” Lupo said of Anderson.
The new administrators take over starting during the 2019-20 school year and with two new members filled with ideas for how to better Taft 7-12; Lupo is excited for the future of the school.
“We are working this summer to make plans for the coming year and I cannot wait to get started with our new administrators,” Lupo said.