School counselors, Elmwood natives return to area to work in Plum School District
Jeremy Kerg and Jason Mountin, new hires in the Plum City School District, have taken different paths to get where they have recently landed.
But they have much in common: Both will be filling administrative and school counselor positions, oth are big into sports and both are natives to the Elmwood area and graduates of Elmwood High School. Both said they are excited to be returning home.
Above all, they both agree they will go above and beyond their job descriptions to support and impact a student's experience at school and preparation for the wider world.
Kerg is dedicating his time in the district as the 6-12 primary principal, taking over Michael Kennedy's position which had a wider focus on the middle-high and elementary schools.
Kennedy moved to the elementary principal position at Menomonie school district.
"He (Kennedy) did a good job with everything that was on his plate. It was a lot harder to get everything done in the position he was in," Plum City Superintendent Amy Vesperman said. "Mr. Kerg is a perfect fit for us with the guidance counseling and administrative part. He's very much a people person and outgoing."
Kerg has experience as a school and career counselor at White Bear Lake, Minn., and Somerset school districts, as well as coaching football at University of Wisconsin-River Falls and taking internships with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Originally, Kerg undertook the task of getting his graduate degree in school counseling to have an employable degree outside of football. It would also grant him access into a potential coaching position with the NFL, which requires a graduate degree.
"The bottom line is I went into school counseling and ended up at a high school and loved it," Kerg said.
Mountin is taking up the dean position at the elementary building, which was initially filled by English teacher Angie Laehn in January 2019. Laehn will be moving back to a teaching job.
"For us, being able to have an administrator and a counselor in each building will meet the needs of our students better," Vesperman said.
For seven years, Mountin served as the middle school guidance counselor at Menomonie school district, where there are more than 3,000 students, and said he is eager to see the difference between the large and small school districts.
"I've always had ambitions to become an administrator someday. So when the opportunity came and I saw the posting for the position, I figured why not try. It ended up being the right fit for me," Mountin said.
Recently, Mountin ran a youth baseball camp for three consecutive Sundays in Plum City. His passion for baseball will follow him to Plum City, though he doesn't anticipate considering a coaching position unless one is open in the future.
Having both graduated from Elmwood High School, Mountin and Kerg knew each other despite their five-year age gap.
Mountin reminisced his time in Elmwood with Kerg: "I was the manager of the football team when he was playing high school football. I watched him kick a game-winning field goal in Luck, Wisconsin. It was pretty cool," he said.
Together they will make more memories.
"We're excited to work with each other and working within the Plum City school district. We have a lot of the same viewpoints on education and what's best for kids," Mountin said. "The relationships you can build within a small town community are unlike any other. I have a lot of respect for the community of Plum City. I'm looking forward to being back in these communities."
"This is home for me," Kerg said. "My biggest thing is, it's really humbling to be put in a position where I can do a job that could have a significant positive impact on people in my hometown or my home area. To be able to do that is pretty humbling, to be able to have that opportunity."