Making an impact

MCHS Principal Jeff Prickett strives to make an impact on the lives of students as they make their way through high school


Nikki Sisson

Dr. Jeff Prickett meets with a teacher during a free moment on March 7 in the communications conference room at the Upper Campus. Prickett has been offering to meet with teachers to chat about how improve the school’s culture.

Evanel Gonzalez, Contributing Writer

Jeff Prickett stands in the South entrance awaiting the stampede of teenagers to roll his way. He eagerly looks at the clock, it’s 2:50. He enthusiastically greets the students goodbye as they walk out, excited for the weekend.

Prickett became a MCHS principal at what was called East Campus in 2017. When the schools separated into a Freshman Campus and an Upper Campus in 2021, Prickett was tapped in to be principal of the combined schools. That year, just before that transition, Prickett earned the honor of Illinois High School Principal of the Year.

“I’ve never felt more of a responsibility and like this burden weighs heavily on me to make sure that you’re okay,” Prickett explains, “and there are 2,200 of you.”

Prickett says being principal is difficult. The Sophomore Poetry Slam heightened his desire to be a support system for students. His passion to help is evident, and has been observed by several students.

Emilija Nikitovic, a senior, has felt Prickett’s impact on her education and the campus. “He connects with as many students as he can … talking to students and taking selfies for Instagram.”

Prickett began his career as a teacher, and eventually rose to the principal position. His responsibilities encompass a variety of different tasks, which shorten his time with students. In his leadership, the school has hosted a variety of events such as St.Baldrick’s, in an effort to unite and help the community.

“I really started … wanting to make an impact on a community … but knew I couldn’t at the classroom level,” he explained, “and so that’s why I went into the principal-ship.”

His effort to make an impact on the community stems from his own high school experience. His senior year of high school, Prickett had to go to rehab. He says that no one cared or checked in on him.

“Nobody saw me. I didn’t want that for you … But if I could change that. I will and that’s what I’m working towards.”

Prickett looks through his camera roll, attempting to pick the right picture for his instagram. He cherishes the pictures, thinking of his memories with students.