Michael DeWall resigns as Berthoud High School assistant principal

By Dan Karpiel

The Surveyor

On Monday, word came down that Berthoud High School (BHS) assistant principal/athletic director, Michael DeWall, resigned his position with the school, effective at the end of his contract in mid-June. DeWall joins a long list of BHS faculty who will be departing the school at the conclusion of this school year.

DeWall, who was in his first year on the job, said his resignation was voluntary and he was not asked or forced to resign nor was he threatened with termination or under any sort of disciplinary action from the Thompson School District. DeWall declined to give specific reasons on the record why he chose to tender his resignation but did state he does not currently have another job offer either inside or outside the district. He also said he is not retiring and wants to and needs to continue working.

“I will say about the Berthoud community is that they really care about their kids. They really want what’s best for their kids and that’s what’s really cool about this community,” DeWall said. “All I had to do was ask and there were people coming out of the woodwork saying ‘how can I help support’ because we want what’s best for our kids. The community members are always there for the kids and that hasn’t always been the case in other roles I’ve had before.”

DeWall accepted the job as assistant principal/athletic director last summer after Berthoud hired Dr. Sarah Beth Bliss as the school’s new principal. DeWall had formerly worked in other school districts around the state and moved to Northern Colorado last summer upon accepting the job at BHS.

Under his leadership, DeWall’s one-year as athletic director saw Berthoud teams enjoy some great successes, including appearances in the state playoffs for the softball, volleyball, football and girls basketball teams as well as strong performance by the BHS wrestling team, which had six wrestlers medal at the state tournament in February. DeWall humbly refused to take any credit for the successes enjoyed, saying “There were good people in place when I got here with those programs so the success is theirs and not mine. I’ve always seen myself as more of a bulldozer than a road block. I want to be the guy that says ‘let’s figure out a way to do it’ rather than just saying no.”

The year was not without some tumult, however, with some coaching changes coming at some of the school’s higher-profile programs. In April DeWall hired Alamosa’s Dillon McNamee to serve as the head coach of the Berthoud football team, replacing long-tenured Troy Diffendaffer, but McNamee abruptly resigned just a week after being formally introduced. The year also saw the mid-season termination of boys basketball head coach, Mike Burkett, and insuring controversy regarding the handling of his termination. DeWall has since hired replacements for both the football and boys basketball teams.

Asked if he had a message he wanted to share with the Berthoud community, which DeWall was entirely complimentary of throughout the 2018-19 school year, he replied, “Keep caring about your kids; that’s number one, seek what’s best for the kids. But also remember there are those of us in the leadership positions who work hard to try to put the best people in front of the kids and sometimes there may be some bumps in the road with that, but you have to trust that we’re going to put the best people we can in front and even if they make a mistake here or there we are going to work with them, help them grow professionally, whether that’s a teacher, a sponsor of a club, or a high-profile coaching position.”

The Thompson School District and Berthoud High will begin the search for DeWall’s replacement this summer.

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