Esala comes from Ripon Middle School
By Scott Bellile
New London High School’s new associate principal and athletic director, Jared Esala, began his job on Monday, Nov. 6.
The New London School Board voted unanimously to approve Esala’s hiring on Oct. 23. He accepted the offer for an annual salary of $88,000. The Ripon School Board then approved his resignation on Oct. 30.
Esala is a temporary hire to fill the position for the rest of the 2017-’18 school year, School District of New London Superintendent Dennis Krueger said. The position will be posted again next spring.
Esala takes over the position for Brian Yerkey, who became NLHS principal earlier this school year.
Krueger said 19 people applied for the associate principal and athletic director opening. Four were brought in for interviews. Esala was chosen over one other finalist.
“We felt he showed service leadership in his mindset, the way he responded to questions and to some of his past experiences serving students, staff and community,” Krueger said. “He seemed to be very humble and process-driven… He’s got an extreme willingness to learn and step in and we perceive he has a very strong work ethic.”
In his position, Esala will be responsible for the student co-curricular and sports programs, teacher evaluations and student discipline.
Esala left his position mid-semester as a physical education and health teacher and activities director at Ripon Middle School, roles he just began this fall.
Prior to the 2017-’18 school year, Esala spent five years coordinating online courses and teaching physical education and health at Ripon High School. He said running the school’s online program provided him solid administrative experience.
Esala was also head coach of wrestling during his tenure in Ripon and, before that, head coach at Oshkosh West High School, where he taught for seven years.
Esala, who wrestled from third grade through college, took pride in helping to transform Oshkosh West’s and Ripon’s wrestling programs into more highly regarded programs. Last winter, he sent five Ripon grapplers to the state tournament, which according to the Ripon Commonwealth Press is a school record.
“With both programs we’ve done a lot of winning to create great teams from not a whole lot, [which] is mostly what I’m proud of, just building programs and making them great,” Esala said.
Esala graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 2004 with a degree in physical education and minors in health education and coaching. In 2010, he earned his master’s in educational leadership and then a principal license in 2014, both from UW-Oshkosh.
In New London, Esala said he looks forward to working within the great administration and culture at NLHS. Outside of work, he looks forward to hunting, fishing and being close to both the Northwoods and the Fox Valley.
“I think that every experience that I’ve had in New London, whether it was coaching or visiting the school or hearing people talk about the city of New London or the school district, all of those things have been positive,” Esala said.
He said he will miss Ripon because the staff feels like family. During his final week there he was touched to hear he will be missed by his students, including those he did not expect would care.
“Now that I am leaving it’s really remarkable seeing all the students react in the way that they are,” Esala said.
Esala grew up in Ashland, where he wrestled and played percussion in the school band. He now resides in Rush Lake north of Ripon. His wife, Kelly, teaches family and consumer education at Ripon High School. If his temporary job becomes permanent, he hopes they can live in New London.
Asked if he has a favorite school sport or activity, Esala said he is not in the position to compare because he wants to support all offerings at NLHS.
“Whether it’s a wrestling tournament or a musical, I’ll be all in,” he said.