When the current academic year ends, Michael Hunter will relocate his personal office to the other side of St. Clair High School’s main office area as he takes over the principal duties.

St. Clair R-XIII School District Superintendent Mike Murphy announced on Thursday that Hunter, who currently is the assistant principal at SCHS, will step up to the principal position.

“We feel like he will be a great addition to the leadership team with his experience and knowledge of the district,” Murphy said. “He already has a good relationship with the students, staff and community, and we have confidence he will exemplify those leadership characteristics in his role as principal.”

The announcement came less than a month after current Principal Kevin Hillman resigned to become the superintendent of the South Callaway School District. Hillman’s contract ends June 30. Hunter will take over at that time.

“I’m excited, nervous and ready to go at the same time,” the 45-year-old Hunter told The Missourian. “I’m really looking forward to and am thankful for the opportunity.”

Murphy said Hunter was one of 32 individuals, and the only internal candidate, to apply for the position. A committee consisting of administrators, teachers and staff first whittled the list of applicants to six, and they all were interviewed. From there, a final three were selected before Hunter was picked.

Hunter is no stranger to St. Clair R-XIII or to being an administrator. He became the assistant principal nearly seven years ago before the start of the 2006-2007 academic year. Prior to that position, he was a high school English teacher in the R-XIII district for two years.

“I just felt it was the right time to do it,” Hunter said about deciding to apply for the position. “I’ve been sitting in that other chair there for seven years and just felt like it was my time to step in.”

Hunter also has teacher experience in four other school districts, including Union R-XI from 2001-2002 through 2003-2004. He first began teaching at the start of the 1991 academic year. Other teaching stints have been in the Westran R-I School District in Huntsville, the Gasconade County R-I district in Hermann and the Schuyler County R-I district in Queen City.

Hunter earned his bachelor’s degree in May 1991 from the University of Missouri at St. Louis. He received his master’s from William Woods University in May 1999 and is expected to complete his specialist degree from Missouri Baptist this December.

His resume states he is certified as a seventh- through 12th-grade principal, a seventh- through 12th-grade English teacher and a kindergarten through high school physical education teacher.

“He’s very student-oriented,” St. Clair R-XIII Assistant Superintendent Mark Denbow said. “He has shown that time and time again. He is a quality individual. We look forward to working with him.”

Hillman was hired in April 2011 and replaced Vicki Enyart.

Murphy said he and the board of education will decide how the district will proceed in finding Hunter’s replacement as SCHS assistant principal. He did not indicate whether the same applicant pool gathered when Hillman resigned could be used.

Currently, St. Clair High School houses about 750 students, which is down slightly from previous years. The district has about 2,200 students. The high school has 60-plus staff members.