Two weeks after a video circulated showing a verbal altercation between Thompson Junior High School Principal Anthony DeFeo and a student, Assistant Principal Jerry Wicks has been appointed to the position of interim principal.
According to Director of Communications and Public Relations Theresa Komitas, DeFeo has been on paid administrative leave since the incident, which took place in late January. Former TJHS Principal Shannon Lueders and other district administrators filling in in the interim.
DeFeo replaced Lueders earlier in the 2017-18 school year after she was promoted to the position of director of junior high education for the district. Komitas said the district officials made the decision to appoint an interim principal to have a leader at the school full-time to help guide faculty and students.
Parents of students at the Oswego school were informed of Wicks' appointment on Wednesday evening through an email that included a statement from Wicks.
"At this time, I have the honor of serving as Interim Principal of Thompson Junior High School. I have worked as a District 308 administrator for eight years with the last three years here at Thompson," Wicks wrote. "I look forward to working positively with our students, staff and families as we build upon our school’s strong traditions...I thank you for all you do for our students and I look forward to serving as your interim principal."
Prior to his appointment at TJHS, Wicks served as a dean of students for five years at Oswego East High School.
No final determination has been made regarding DeFeo's position at TJHS as the investigation into the incident is ongoing, according to district officials.