FORTVILLE — Mt. Vernon Middle School principal Brooke Tharp will soon be transitioning to the high school along with her current class of eighth graders.

The longtime educator was recently hired to serve as the high school’s newest principal at the start of next school year.

She will take the place of Bernie Campbell, the former Mt. Vernon High School principal who came out of retirement last fall to replace outgoing principal Casey Dodd, who left to pursue other opportunities.

Tharp will take over the high school’s head position on July 1, pending approval at the March 27 school board meeting.

Superintendent Dr. Jack Parker said Tharp’s interpersonal skills and experience leading curriculum development, testing and scheduling were a few of the reasons she was selected for the position.

“Mrs. Tharp is an exceptional school principal with strong roots at Mt. Vernon High School,” he said. “Her collaborative style and high-quality communication will help lead our amazing high school as (the students) continue to grow and succeed.”

Tharp said she is proud to have served the majority of her 29-year career through the Mt. Vernon schools.

A Mt. Vernon High School graduate herself, Tharp has seen two children graduate from the district and still has one child enrolled at the high school.

“As a Mt. Vernon parent, community member and administrator, having the opportunity to be a part of Mt. Vernon High School’s success is very exciting, and I look forward to serving our community in this new role,” she said.

Tharp has worn a number of hats throughout her long career with Mt. Vernon schools.

She started her career in 1994 as a special education and English teacher at the middle school and high school, then worked six years within the same special education co-op at nearby Pendleton Heights High School.

Tharp launched her administrative career in 2014 when she was hired as assistant principal at Mt. Vernon Middle School, then transitioned to assistant principal at the high school in 2016.

Brooke Tharp, the principal at Mt. Vernon Middle School, has been hired to take over as the principal at Mt. Vernon High School at the start of the next school year.

She worked there five years until taking over as principal at the middle school in 2021.

With students now on Spring Break, Tharp is easing into her final nine weeks at the middle school until taking over at the high school this summer.

Parker said Tharp was the perfect candidate for the job, having demonstrated strong leadership skills throughout her career. As a teacher at Mt. Vernon High School, she served as the Special Education Chair and represented the department with building initiatives.

A lifelong learner, Tharp is pursuing her doctorate of Education Administration at Indiana State University as she transitions into her new post.

She also holds a master’s of education from Butler University and a bachelor’s degree in education from Indiana University.

Tharp feels her background as both a teacher and administrator will serve her well in this latest endeavor as she takes over the helm at the high school within a district serving some of the fastest growing communities in the state.

“As our district grows, I want to make sure that we continue to offer high quality programming and have high quality options for all students,” she said. “I have a strong commitment to the students and staff of Mt. Vernon, and to the parents and the community as a whole.”

Parker said the open principal position at the middle school has been posted online, and he’s hoping to name Tharp’s successor at the school board’s April 17 board meeting.

“We anticipate a large number of applicants which will ensure the selection of a top-notch leader for Mt. Vernon Middle School students and staff,” he said.