CHAMPAIGN — Tim Millage is no longer principal of The High School of St. Thomas More in Champaign, the Catholic Diocese of Peoria announced Monday.
The school's assistant principal is now its acting principal, and the school's board will begin next semester to search for a new principal for next school year, according to an email that diocese Chancellor Patricia Gibson sent to parents.
Millage declined to comment on his departure. Acting Principal Mike Scholz said he doesn't know the reason for the change.
"I don't know anything about it," Scholz said, and didn't know he'd be acting principal until Saturday afternoon. He was formerly the school's assistant principal and was appointed to his current position by Peoria Diocese Bishop Daniel Jenky.
The diocese's superintendent of schools, Brother William Dygert, could not be reached for comment, but the email from the diocese said he will direct the search for the new principal.
"This process will follow diocesan guidelines and also the provisions of the board's by-laws," the email said.
In September, Millage told The News-Gazette the he felt drawn to Catholic education and away from his former career as a public educator.
"I felt like I had to check my faith in the glove compartment every day," Millage said of working public schools.
He converted to Catholicism 17 years ago and "my faith has improved through these kids," Millage said.
News-Gazette archives indicate he started at St. Thomas More in 2003.
The school was challenged by declining population, he told The News-Gazette. The school had 350 students last year and had 295 earlier this fall.
"But I'm encouraged," Millage said. "It's never been easy here. We started with 70 students in 2000."
He also said the school has always been blessed with donors willing to step up.
"When I express a need, (someone) finds a way to help me," he said.
News-Gazette reporters Meg Dickinson and Debra Pressey contributed to this report.