Home Education and Careers Scott Wilson ‘going to jump in’ as he takes over as new...

Scott Wilson ‘going to jump in’ as he takes over as new principal of Saints Peter & Paul High School in Easton, Md.

Principal Scott Wilson poses near the Saints Peter & Paul mission statement and portraits of church leadership. Dialog photo/Joseph P. Owens

EASTON, Md. — Scott Wilson says he wants to be the first face kids see when they arrive in the morning at Saints Peter & Paul High School and the last when they make their way off the practice field in the afternoon.

Based on the energy he’s brought so far to his new job as high school principal, don’t put it past him.

The first-year principal later this month opens the third year of the high school building that was unveiled in fall 2021.

The 39-year-old University of Connecticut graduate is coming from Fairfax, Va., where he had been an administrator, teacher and football coach at a grades 7-12 public school with 3,600 kids. He welcomes 190 students this year to the newest school building in the Diocese of Wilmington.

Scott Wilson is principal of Saints Peter & Paul High School in Easton, Md. Dialog photo/Joseph P. Owens

Recently married, Wilson is happy for a change of pace in a smaller town, where his in-laws make their home, and he will have the chance to demonstrate his versatility. He’s had good vibes since his first interview for the job.

“Everything along the way began to click,” Wilson said in an interview with The Dialog before the start of the school year. “It felt like the right fit. The community embraced me when I first stepped in. I got to meet people at a meet-and-great. Just the community feel, the community focus, made me feel good.”

Wilson arrived not long after his wedding this summer and had the immediate task of filling some staff vacancies. He’d gotten that done before the middle of August and is spending the last few days gearing up for the arrival of his new student body.

“I try to look at everything as an opportunity,” he said. “Building something the way you want to build it. What type of change is needed? Not too much, but enough. The ceiling in this place is sky-high.

“The religious component of it is attractive. The morality and the high expectations we have here as far as student conduct and academic success combined with our amazing facilities makes this a place that can really grow and thrive in the future. We just want to keep moving it in that direction and offer the opportunity for our students to have a great high school experience.”

The clock tower at Saints Peter & Paul High School in Easton, Md.
Dialog photo/Joseph P. Owens

A lifelong Catholic, Wilson and his wife, Rebecca, moved into a home in the community and plan to register as parishioners at Ss. Peter & Paul. They were married at St. Michael’s, the mission church of Ss. Peter & Paul in nearby St. Michaels, Md.

“I want to live and work in a community where I’m building something that I would be proud to have my kids in the future immersed in,” he said. “I want to be a community member and a school leader, not just someone who shows up to school during the day. I want to be visible at kids’ athletic events, support them in their plays. I love all the arts and community, the things that Easton does … be part of the climate that this place is.”

The high school and nearby elementary school have been a key part of Saints Peter & Paul parish for many years. The current high school was built with full support and financial backing of parishioners. Wilson takes over for James Nemeth, who stepped down in June after 23 years as principal.

“This place is beautiful,” he said. “I’m excited to work in such a beautiful building.”

He won’t have long to wait. Freshmen and new students arrive Aug. 28, and the first full day of classes is Aug. 30.

“I’m eager to have students back in the building. I can’t wait to interact and build positive relationships.”

The school has been getting the word out about its state-of-the-art facility and unique position as the only Catholic high school on the Eastern Shore. Officials plan to build upon growing enrollment.

“In a small school like this you have to wear many hats, and that’s something I clearly understand and that’s going to be a challenge that I embrace. I have high expectations for myself and I want to grow as a leader in many different avenues. I’m a people-first person. I like engaging with people.

“It’s a great setup. People have great expectations. It’s something we live. It’s not something we just throw out there. This place checks all the boxes. We want to grow and continue to offer the same level of excellence.”

It’s a year of firsts for Wilson, but he’s confident he’s put himself in position to be ready for the challenge.

“As a leader, I think it’s putting people first, being willing to get your hands dirty and do things out of your comfort zone, driving the right kind of change and prioritizing what needs to be done.

“It’s a great opportunity and I’m going to jump in and be myself and that will do it.”