Photo by Theo Tate
Mike Bellm was named the new principal at Alton High School on July 19. Bellm has worked in the Alton School District since 1993.
GODFREY — After a decade in the same role, Mike Bellm will have a new job at Alton High School this fall.
Bellm, 47, is the school’s new principal after working the past 10 years as assistant principal. He replaces Russ Tepen, who is now the assistant principal at Alton Middle School.
“I’m very excited for this opportunity,” said Bellm, who was named principal during a school board meeting on July 19. “I just want to make sure that we’re here to do what’s best for the students, and that means when they walk into the doors, it’s a welcoming place and they know they can be successful here.”
Bellm has been working at AHS since 1993. Since then, he’s held numerous jobs, including English teacher, head varsity baseball coach, dean of students, assistant athletic director and assistant principal. He also was a baseball and basketball coach at Alton Middle School for five years from 1994 until 1999.
Bellm said he’s enjoyed his 23 years in the district.
“It’s been absolutely great,” Bellm said. “I don’t look at it as a job. I enjoy every day here. It’s great to work with the students, and we have a tremendous faculty.”
After graduating from East Alton-Wood River High in 1987, Bellm went to University of Central Arkansas and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English and teaching and a master’s degree in secondary administration.
In 1993, Bellm was hired at AHS as English teacher and head varsity baseball coach. He taught English for 10 years and coached the Redbirds’ baseball squad for 13. During Bellm’s tenure as baseball coach, the Redbirds won 246 games and captured three regional championships.
Bellm also worked as an assistant athletic director from 1999-2003.
Bellm was hired as the dean of students at AHS in 2003. Bellm said the job inspired him to get an administrative position at the school.
“When I became a dean, I (could) still coach,” Bellm said. “But I also saw that there was going to be a day that I was going to give up coaching and go into administration. It was probably that decision a long time ago when I decided to go into administration and it was enough to give up coaching. I loved coaching. I could see myself coaching for my entire life.”
Bellm was hired as the assistant principal in 2006. That year, AHS moved to its current location at 4200 Humbert Road.
“I feel like this is one of the best campuses in Illinois altogether, especially in southern Illinois,” Bellm said. “We really put something together here with this building and this campus. I’m very proud of it, and I want to the community to be proud of it and I want our students to be proud of it.”
Bellm said he’s looking forward to the first day of school, which is Aug. 18.
“It’s amazing,” Bellm said. “I’ve been to a lot of first days before, but this one holds a special excitement for me in this new position. My biggest concern is the students. The first day is always a tricky day for everyone, so I want them to come in and feel welcome and be ready to be part of Alton High School and be welcomed as part of Alton High School and know they can be successful here.”
Bellm is part of an administrative staff that includes assistant principals Mike Brey, Dorothy Mosby and Melissa Edwards.
“I’m looking forward to working with our tremendous faculty and continuing some teamwork that we have going on and allow them to be a big part of the decision making and the running of the building,” Bellm said.
Bellm received an education specialist degree from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 2015. This year, he received the school’s Roy L. Olive Outstanding Superintendent Student of the Year award.