Fatheree’s office reflects variety of interests


Nolan Armstrong, AP Contributor

At any high school, the administration and staff play a large part in establishing the culture and making the school a safe and enjoyable place to learn.

At MV, the Administration works hard and keeps our school running smoothly. But how well do students know the Administration?

MV Principal Rowdy Fatheree decided to help answer this question.

Before MV, Mr. Fatheree served as Assistant Principal for five years at Danville High School in Danville, IL. He also served as an Assistant Principal at MV before he became Principal in 2015-16. He is married to Jodi Fatheree and has two sons.

To sharpen the lens into who Mr. Fatheree is, let’s take a moment to examine a few decorative items that adorn his office in Building A. 

Objects in the Principal’s office range from an old Ram head to a Harley-Davidson collector´s piece. 

To Mr. Fatheree, If something is hanging on the walls of his office, then it contains a story that means a great deal to him.  Let’s take a closer look.

  1. Harley Davidson

Mr. Fatheree asked his best friend for a picture to put in his office. Any time he moves, Fatheree asks significant friends for things to put up in his new location.

Guillain-Barre Syndrome is a rare disorder in which your body’s immune system attacks your nerves, and it quickly spreads, eventually paralyzing the whole body. 

His best friend was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome at the age of 52, after this, he helped his friend learn to walk again. His best friend was previously focused on powerlifting, being able to squat 500 pounds the week prior. Most people that get it never fully recover or die, but his best friend is thankfully now fully active and well. Written on the photo says “Stay tough bro.¨

  1. ¨Who Cares¨ by ¨General¨ William Booth

Matt Hughes is a retired MMA fighter and is considered to be one of the greatest fighters in the history of the MMA and boasted an impressive 45 wins and 9 losses. He is one of Mr. Fatheree´s favorite fighters. 

On June 16, 2017, Hughes got into a near-fatal train accident that resulted in major brain damage, tearing the axon away from his brain. He had lost motor skills and couldn´t speak, and had to learn to walk and talk again.

He bought the image because of Matt Hughes, Mr. Fatheree read that it was his favorite painting and bought it. Hughes saw it on a mission trip and had since rededicated his life to Christ. Mr. Fatheree feels his interpretation of it applies to any job and resonates with him as a Christian. 

The piece itself was created by artist Palacio, as an illustration of what the Salvation Army´s founder, William Booth, saw as the Church´s apparent lack of concern over lost souls. 

The painting shows how there is a whole sea of people that need help, and yet the people who can give support are busy with all types of other activities. ¨It’s easy to get wrapped up in paperwork, phone calls, etc,¨ Mr. Fatheree stated.

When Mr. Fatheree sees it, he feels it as a reminder to make every effort possible to help anyone you can daily.

¨This is a large building, with nearly 1,500 students and staff, and on somebody´s worst day, kind words can go a long way,¨ Mr. Fatheree stated. 

  1. Harley-Davidson Collector piece. 

Started in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Harley-Davidson was founded in 1903 by one man with the last name of Harley and three men with the last name of Davidson. These men made the prototype of the first-ever Harley-Davidson motorcycle as well. They are one of the only two motorcycle companies to survive the Great Depression.

When Mr. Fatheree worked at a Harley-Davidson dealership, the organization had a tight-knit family and company culture, Mr. Fatheree saw it and wanted to be a part of it. 

Ironically, his friend bought out the dealership. Mr. Fatheree became part of security and was able to take whichever bike he wanted off the showroom floor. He also used the bikes on sponsored poker runs. 

The piece shown is actually from the Harley-Davidson museum and is a collector´s piece. It was given to him by his friend mentioned in image 1. 

  1. Mascot Illiniwek

Mr. Fatheree worked in Champaign-Urbana while the mascot was Chief Illiniwek.  U of I is currently the kingfisher. He bought the picture while it was a limited edition in the News-Gazette. He was the dean of students at Urbana high school at the time. He also attended Eastern Illinois University. The mascot based after a Native American chief is significant to him since he has Cherokee and Kickapoo in his ancestry. ¨To me and many it was a historic event, It’s now six years and there still isn’t a new mascot, ¨ stated Mr. Fatheree.

     5. Old Ram Head

It was present in the Principal’s office at the old campus when he interned there for his Master´s in Administration while the principal at that time was Dr. Jenny Pebble. The principal before Mr. Fatheree, Mr. Wes Olson, didn’t like it, so he took it down. When Mr. Fatheree became principal, he pulled it out of the school storage to put up. It was originally Melanie Norman’s, an English teacher, who said he could have it. Mr. Fatheree was also previously an English teacher.

     5. Spartan Medals

Mr. Fatheree has Spartan race medals and from 5ks, he is lucky to have finished them. He recently in October 2022 tore his bicep yet finished the race. There are different levels to Spartan races, for example, he has competed in a “Super” in Nashville, TN. In July of 2022, he completed the “Stadion” in Notre Dame’s stadium with his son and wife. He got into it with his buddy who he trained beforehand. He´s done 8 races in the last 2 years. He had to go to rehab for 11 weeks for his arm and ran his first 5k back not long ago.

  1. A Lighthouse in the Storm that says ¨Leadership¨

¨The ultimate measure as a leader is not where you stand in moments of comfortable convenience, but when you stand in times of challenge and controversy.¨ stated Mr. Fatheree. He knows that not all decisions are gonna be easy and he must stand firm. Some photos show past proms and students who´ve gone to the military. 

  1. Three stooges,

When Officer Barton first left the high school, he wanted to give Mr. Fatheree this piece, but Mr. Fatheree confirmed that he has no intention of returning it to Barton. On the top and bottom of the photo are some quotes he likes.

  1. Lincoln´s Challenge in Rantoul, IL

To become a student here the kid and a mentor must go through a weekend of training, the kid approached him and Mr. Fatheree decided to do it with him while he was an assistant principal at Danville high school. They ended up finishing it together.

  1. Education Degrees 

Mr. Fatheree has an M.S. Ed. from Eastern in Education, Bachelor’s in English from Eastern, Associate from Olney Community College. He also has his Specialist Ed. D. from Eastern. He´s currently working on his Ed. D. from McKendree University, which is Doctorate in Education. 

  1. Cutback Jack 

When Mr. Fatheree was the Assistant Principal at Danville, there was a custodian named Jack who wanted to be able to hire three more teachers, so when at the school during the night he would go and turn off all of the lights and would proceed to leave a note on your computer advising you to shut it down. He eliminated 370,986 pounds of carbon dioxide or 30 cars. Shortly after he lost his battle with cancer. The award given was for Lights for Learning.

  1. Global Ambassadors 

At Danville, Mr. Fatheree started a program for academic achievement for upperclassmen. These were the first 3 to get the title. The criteria included volunteer hours, GPA, 3 years of Spanish, and more.

  1. Denver, Colorado

This is in the mountains for a fishing trip, was there for a conference. The person on the left was the principal at Danville and in the middle was another assistant principal. The principal had a brain aneurysm, he woke up with a seizure and died that morning and died within a year of retirement. It’s important to Mr. Fatheree to since he always had the conversation with him to not wait till retirement to enjoy life.

  1. The Ram Heart

The photo of students forming a heart was taken to stand with the people affected by the 2018 Marshall County school shooting. It is in the principal´s office there too and remains there to this day.

All of these objects, photos, and pieces of bric-a-brac represent who Mr. Fatheree is in some way while some show an even deeper history of MV itself.

We hope you enjoyed this tour of Mr. Fatheree’s mementos.