Doig tried to ‘maintain the tradition’ at NPHS

New Prague High School principal Tom Doig is saying “good bye” after 10 years on the job. (Chuck Kajer Photo)

After 10 years, Tom Doig will be leaving his position as principal at New Prague High School. Doig took advantage of an early retirement offer from the district in order to be with his wife Mary, who took a job near the family’s home in Hayward, WI, two years ago.

Doig’s last day in the office is expected to be June 14. He has the 2013-14 schedule in place, and Lonnie Seifert, his assistant principal who will become principal on July 1, has hired most of the new teachers for next year.

Doig arrived in New Prague in the summer of 2003 after stints as principal at Roseau and Mora. Prior to that, the Duluth native taught in the Rosemount-Eagan- Apple Valley district.

Doig is leaving New Prague with a sense of pride in his time at the school.

“I’ve seen a number of school districts in the state, and I believe we rank among the best,” he said.

He’s proud of several accomplishments. He along with Tim and Jane Dittberner, were instrumental in starting the New Prague Area Education Foundation, which raises funds and provides grants to classroom teachers for special projects and also serves as a conduit for raising and awarding scholarship money for New Prague High School students.

“When I arrived here, the community provided about $5,00 to $7,000 a year in scholarships. With the foundation’s efforts, this year that amount was close to $49,000.

“I feel I’m leaving this place in better shape than when I got here,” he added. “We took a lot of initiatives to make this a 21st Century school.”

He said when he talks to former students, they always say that New Prague did a great job in preparing them for post-secondary education.

“We’ve worked hard to increase the number of college level classes. We started with three, and now we have 10 or 11 classes each year. A student could have a good semester’s worth of college credits just by staying in this building.”

Doig says he worked to maintain the tradition of good values and discipline at New Prague High School, and he’s been a good steward of the public’s money.

He points out that New Prague students have excelled in athletic, arts and academic extracurricular activities over the years.

“I think about the number of teams that have gone to state tournaments in the last five years alone, with three championships, and maybe a fourth coming this week,” he said. “That’s a credit to the coaches, the kids and the community that takes pride in what the kids do, whether it’s a sport team, a choir or a national science fair winner.”

“I feel fortunate to have been a part of this community,” he said.

The Doigs have two children. Jess, a 2005 graduate, played hockey at Gustavus Adolphus and is now regional sales manager for Sports NGine, a company that specializes in sport-based websites. Alex, who played a couple years of junior hockey after leaving New Prague, attends the University of Wisconsin-Superior, where he is playing hockey and majoring in accounting.