Bulldogs welcome new leadership

Along with other changes, Centennial welcomed new principal, Keith Wipperman. The fresh perspective of Wipperman is due to change some of the current circumstances at Centennial. He has already had the opportunity to face the new online frontier, and he is excited to continue to lead the campus through hard times.
“I know that Centennial is a tight-knit community and I hope to become a true part in making students’ lives better, more enjoyable, and help them be prepared for life after graduation,” Wipperman said. “Centennial seemed like a great fit as I already know the community, I live in the community, and I have developed a relationship with students and families.”
Wipperman is known to many students as former Leavitt Middle School principal, and he has plenty of experience in education. The relationships Wipperman has built with former students are largely due to his last 11 years working at Leavitt, and as Centennial gained a new staff member, Leavitt lost one.
“It was very hard to leave Leavitt as it was like my second home. Many weeks I spent more time at work than I did at home. I had developed strong relationships with the students, staff, and families, many of which I hope to continue here at Centennial,” Wipperman said. “When you have known people that long and worked hard together to develop a vision and the best MS in the country, it is very hard to leave.”
Wipperman’s past employment has allowed him a unique opportunity to follow through with past students and to see some through to graduation. Not many educators get to spend so many consecutive years with a student class and watching one’s students grow and mature is a valuable experience for educators.
“I have been excited to have a few conversations with [past] students already and get to see the young men and women they have or are becoming. My goal is to see them through graduation and beyond and to help them make great choices which will set them up for the future they want for themselves,” Wipperman said.
Along with typical challenges that come with a new position, Wipperman has also had to face the challenges of leading a school during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I believe that many people (students, parents, and teachers) are really struggling, as many did not sign on to be distance learners/educators. The hardest part has been to see students struggling so much emotionally, socially and educationally. I just want kids to feel better, safer and more connected to the school and their friends,” Wipperman said. “I truly want our students back in school but I also want it to be safe for everyone.”
Centennial was sad to see previous principal, Trent Day, leave after 15 many years of service to the community, but the student body has placed full faith in Wipperman.
“There was no other principal I would’ve rather worked with this year than Wipperman,” said Caden Mcknight, senior and E-board president. “He took every opportunity to make distant learning the best it could be under the circumstances, and never stopped caring about the students along the way.”
Ultimately, Wipperman is looking forward to the rest of the school year to come, and is ready to face any and all challenges head-on. He has not had the typical Centennial experience, but despite unexpected circumstances, he is eager to get back on campus and to see the Bulldogs in action.
“ I love it at Centennial, and I can’t wait to have kids back, so I can really see that Centennial spirit and drive to be the best each and every day,” Wipperman said. “I am honored and privileged to be a Bulldog.”