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SCC picks Kerg for new athletic director

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By Dave Newman dnewman@rivertowns.net The new Athletic Director/Dean of Students at St. Croix Central is a familiar face.

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Jeremy Kerg was hired to the new administrative position at St. Croix Central last week. Kerg has served as a high school guidance counselor and assistant football coach at Somerset for the past five years.

Kerg and his wife, Christine, have lived in the St. Croix Central School District since 2008 and he has already established working relationships with many members of the school staff.

Kerg and St. Croix Central High School Principal Glenn Webb are both graduates of Elmwood High School. Kerg’s position will be different than previous Athletic Director Nic Been’s position. Been’s position was a half-time teaching position, along with his administrative duties. The new position will be 100 percent administrative.

What will be included in Kerg’s responsibilities will gradually be defined to meet the high school’s needs. He will be in charge of athletics and activities. Kerg said he hopes the administrative side includes working with academic improvement, something he was active in at Somerset. He listed academic initiatives, common core curriculum, educational effectiveness and improving test scores as areas he dedicated considerable time to in Somerset.

He was involved in implementing a number of educational programs at Somerset, like Response to Intervention (RtI).

“I’m actually more confident in the academic piece and knowing where it’s headed,” Kerg said. “The key is coming in with an open mind and trying to build relationships.”

Kerg is an energetic, outgoing educator. He was an assistant football coach at UW-River Falls for eight years. His ambition and sports background have him constantly focusing on improvement.

“We are going to work on upping our test scores,” Kerg said. “We’re not afraid to set high goals.”

Kerg said every school district has students who are high achievers. He said one area he hopes to promote more success is from students who are in the “academic middle.”

In athletics and the fine arts, Kerg is hoping to find ways to get more students involved and to keep them involved through their high school years. He said he’s excited to work with activities like FFA and DECCA that weren’t offered at Somerset. Kerg was an FFA chapter president when he was in high school.

As far as athletics, Kerg has several areas on which he wants to focus. Moral character and academic development are two areas. He wants to make strength and conditioning a higher priority. But mainly, he wants the Panther teams to compete.

“Our varsity programs will compete to win. We have to get ready to go into the Middle Border Conference,” Kerg said. He said Central already has a higher enrollment than some MBC schools and a move to the larger conference is inevitable.

Kerg said there were a number of people in Somerset who helped him build his educational and coaching philosophies. He said football coach Bruce Larson and former athletic director Brad Nemec were key people in his growth, as was his guidance partner, Jenna Evenson. He said he wants to use Somerset’s state championship football program as a model for what he hopes to accomplish in Central’s athletics.

“There is a progression from the minute we start teaching the skills,” Kerg said. He said the measure of teachers and coaches is how far students progress in the four years that they are in high school.

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