Degitz leaving Huntington North for Huntington University COO post

Photo provided.
Russ Degitz

In a move “that I could not pass up,” Huntington North High School Principal Dr. Russ Degitz will become the chief operating officer at Huntington University, after an announcement was made public on May 1, on the high school’s Facebook page.

“I have counted it a privilege to serve the students and staff within HCCSC these last 17 years. We truly have first-class educators in our district that are focused on making our students, schools and community better,” he wrote in the post. “However, the opportunity to return to my alma mater in a senior leadership role was the opportunity of a lifetime and one that I could not pass up.”

Degitz’ career at Huntington County Community School Corporation included serving as principal of Lancaster Elementary School, dean of students at Huntington North and head baseball coach. He became principal of HNHS in 2016 and, furthering his own education, received a Doctor of Education in fall of 2018 from Ball State University. But he says he will always remain a Viking.

“I love everything about HCCSC and know that being a Viking is always something that will be part of who I am,” he wrote. “I am also excited about the vision and direction of the district and know that the best things are yet to come. I am grateful to the community, school board, colleagues and students that I had the privilege to work alongside during my time in the district, and I am excited to partner with them in a new venture with Huntington University.”

HCCSC School Board President Matt said Degitz tendered his resignation the weekend before the April 30 school board special session and work meeting. Roth said the board tried to convince Degitz to stay on, but realized that he was given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to become the COO at Huntington University and honored his decision to leave the school corporation.

“He’s had a tremendous impact on the students and the staff, and I think whatever he did for us he did with integrity and transparency. I think that we lost a tremendous leader in our school corporation, and HU has gained a tremendous talent,” Roth said. “It’s not surprising to us that he continues to accept more and more leadership roles in education. It was surprising that it happened so quickly.”

Roth added that Degitz assured him he wasn’t leaving over any dissatisfaction with HCCSC.

“It’s more just an opportunity that he couldn’t refuse to go back to his alma mater,” he added.

Roth said Degitz’ new position at HU will likely help strengthen the partnership between the university and the school corporation.

With accrued vacation, Roth said Degitz’ last day at Huntington North will be June 14; he will also begin his new position in June.