MONROE CITY, Mo. -- Ryan Watson, principal at Monroe City High School since 2010, will be leaving his position effective June 30.
Watson's successor will be John Fortney, assistant principal at Owensville High School, about 90 minutes southwest of St. Louis in Gasconade County.
"Nobody bleeds black and gold more than Mr. Watson," Superintendent Tracy Bottoms said. "He has done a great job for the district. We will miss him greatly."
Bottoms said Watson is looking to make a career change because of health reasons. Watson is unsure whether that new career will be in education, Bottoms said.
Watson attended Northwest Missouri State and received a degree in middle school education. He did his student teaching at Monroe City and later taught within the Paris R-II School District and coached the high school's football team. In 2008, he left Paris to become a Panther once again.
Watson was appointed high school principal at the start of the 2010-11 academic year, succeeding Chris Redmon.
"We had a large amount of interest in the position, and we had a tough time selecting a replacement (for Watson)," Bottoms said. "Ultimately, we felt Mr. Fortney would best serve the high school."
A Better Leaders Better Schools podcast profiled Fortney in November. The podcast said Fortney has 15 years of experience in education. His wife, Cheri, is an administrator at a special education cooperative, and together they have two children and two grandchildren.