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New CCHS principal 'bubbling with energy'

August 20, 2008
Classes have only been in session at Crawford County High School for a couple of weeks, but Greg Moe, the new principal, already feels comfortable because, after being hired last spring, he started spending quite a bit of time at the school.

New Crawford County High School Principal Greg Moe.
"The nice thing for me is, I was here half of April and May last year, three days a week," he said, explaining it allowed him to get to know the staff and students.

Moe, who served as the middle school principal and transportation director for Garret-Keyser-Butler Community School Corp. near Fort Wayne prior to coming to Crawford County, got into teaching because he wanted to coach.

A former football player and wrestler, first at Rochester Junior College in Minnesota, where he is originally from, then Indiana State University, where he met his wife, Chris, who was an athletic trainer for the football team, Moe also played six years of semi-professional football (Moe refers to it as amateur football because the pay was so little) for the Wabash Express. He usually played linebacker and defensive nose guard, but also served as the back-up fullback.

Moe, who replaced the retiring Wayne Apple at CCHS, started his career at Huntington North in Northern Indiana. Over the years, he taught U.S. Government, Sociology, Physical Education, Health and Psychology, with the latter being his favorite subject, because he taught students how to see how they attack things as a person. While he got into teaching so he could coach football, he quickly learned academics are more important than sports and the two can work hand in hand.

Moe took jobs at different schools, as he accomplished his goal of moving up the football coaching ranks. However, he gave up coaching when Trevor, the oldest of his and Chris' four children, was in the eighth grade. Moe didn't want to chance hurting the relationship between the two by being his son's coach, nor did he want anybody to think he was showing Trevor favoritism, as the junior Moe ended up being the starting quarterback and was all-state.

In fact, all of his children excelled in athletics. His other two sons, Todd and Lance, joined their older brother in being named all-state in football, and all three played in the North-South All-Star Game, "which has never happened in the state of Indiana," Moe said of three brothers making the game. Plus, all three played sports in college, the oldest two at Southern Illinois University and the youngest at Purdue University. The couple's daughter, Becky Harmon, was also a 12-sport letter person in high school, and her son, Tyson, 3, will begin wrestling and playing football in the next year or two.

Moe and his wife have brought their love of athletics to Crawford County, as Moe will serve as the cross country coach and his wife, who has coached varying levels of volleyball, will coach freshman volleyball. However, it was his desire to be a high school principal and the area's similarity to the Minnesota landscape that made Moe want the CCHS job.

"I like elementary children, and I like middle school students, but I've never had the opportunity to work with high school students," Moe said, explaining he got into administration in 1998, when he stepped out of coaching and his superintendent asked him to consider the move.

"I really believe that working with young people is the true fountain of youth, because when you're around young people" it keeps you young, Moe said.

Although Moe is 52, near the traditional retirement age for teachers, in good shape, he doesn't feel 52 and wants to work at CCHS for much longer.

"I would like to work here until I'm 65," he said.

Moe said he is aware of the challenges at Crawford County, from the facilities (i.e. science labs and media center) to ISTEP scores, but he is confident Superintendent Dr. Mark Eastridge and the school board will do what they can to address the former while he and his staff will work to improve the latter.

"So, I think you'll see those (facility) changes being made in the next few years, but No. 1, it is a well proven fact it doesn't make any difference what socioeconomic status you come from" if a school has a quality staff to instruct students, he said.

Having worked for six school corporations, Moe said hardships aren't unique to CCHS, which is already making strides to improve its learning environment by putting new computers, paid for through a $179,000 grant, in all five English classrooms and the addition of Smart Boards. In addition, he said, the teachers and others at the school do a top-notch job.

"The staff here is awesome," he said.

Moe said the foundation of the school corporation — its five elementary schools — is strong, but there must now be a concerted effort to tie the elementary schools' curriculum and that of the junior high school together, then bring the that of the junior high school and high school together. At the same time, it is important, he said, to have horizontal alignment, meaning different classrooms teaching the same subject should have continuity.

"Our bottom goal is to get as many of our young people in some kind of post-secondary education," Moe said, noting that may be college, a trade school or something else.

Moe, who bought a house at Sulphur Springs shortly after getting the nod from the school board last spring, said he couldn't be more pleased with his new position, noting he is "awestruck at how great" the students are at the school.

"I feel like I'm about 15 years of age again and bubbling with energy because of the opportunity I've had to come here and work," he said.

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