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Longtime counselor will be new TMP principal

6/18/2013

By DIANE GASPER-O'BRIEN

dobrien@dailynews.net

There still will be a familiar face occupying the principal's office at Thomas More Prep-Marian Junior-Senior High School in Hays.

Kathy Taylor, guidance counselor at the Hays Catholic school for more than 25 years, today was announced as TMP's new principal.

Taylor replaces Bill DeWitt, a 1992 graduate of TMP who has served as his alma mater's principal the past four years. DeWitt resigned this past spring to take a position as assistant principal and athletic director at Lawrence High School.

"She knows that school inside and out better than anybody," Jeff Brull, advancement director for Hays Catholic Schools, said of Taylor. "(TMP) won't miss a step or lose one ounce of momentum."

Taylor, 52, began teaching at TMP in 1985, then took over counseling duties two years later when Gene Flax, guidance counselor and head football and track and field coach at the school, died of a heart attack while handing out football equipment for the 1987 season.

Taylor has worn many hats ever since, including teacher, counselor, student council sponsor and mother of three TMP graduates.

Coincidentally, Taylor now will work closely with another Gene Flax — a relative of the school's late guidance counselor — who is assistant principal and athletic director at TMP.

Taking on the role of assistant principal in charge of the junior high, in just its second year at TMP, will be Bob Leikam.

Leikam, a former teacher and administrator at Victoria Middle School, taught social studies at TMP Junior High last year and will continue his teaching responsibilities in the mornings before switching to administrative duties in the afternoon.

"That couldn't have been a more perfect fit," Brull said of Leikam's promotion. "He already knows the junior high side of things."