Mark McQuade email

After graduating from UW-Platteville with a Bachelor Degree in English and history, Mark McQuade began his career in education teaching English and history at Pardeeville High School, near Madison, WI. Following four years at Pardeeville, he accepted a job at Appleton West, where he continued to teach English and history for the next eleven years.  In addition to teaching, Mr. McQuade also coached wrestling, football, track and baseball prior to becoming an associate principal at West, in charge of activities, athletics, and eventually the English department.   

After six years as an associate at West, Mr. McQuade became principal at Wilson where he served for three years before returning to West. Prior to completing his Doctor of Education at Edgewood College, he earned Master Degrees in both Educational Technology and Educational Leadership from Cardinal Stritch University.  He has three children, all graduates of Appleton West High School, and his wife, Cheryl, is a paraprofessional at Dunlap Elementary.

Amy DidrecksonAssociate Principal - Curriculum

Amy Didreckson

Dean of StudentsAssociate Principal - Student Supports and Services

Christy deBoer

Christy deBoer began her career as an Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor working with adolescents. She earned an Associate degree in Applied Science of Counseling in 1998. She counseled in both outpatient full day treatment and a residential care facility specializing in mental health and substance abuse. She received additional training specializing in adolescents in the Juvenile Justice system. Christy then attended the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and a Master of Science degree in Educational Leadership and Policy. 

Christy began teaching Special Education in the Appleton Area School District in 2010. She has taught students of all ages with emotional, behavioral, learning and exceptional educational needs. Christy returned to Appleton West as Dean of Students for three years before becoming the Associate Principal of Student Supports and Services.

Christy grew up in the neighborhood surrounding Appleton West. She attended Lincoln Elementary, Wilson Middle School and is an Appleton West High School graduate. She is proud to be Appleton West alumni. Christy is married and has three children. She enjoys spending time outside hiking, taking road trips and practicing yoga. 

John Miller
Associate Principal - Athletics

John Miller

John Miller has been involved with teaching, coaching, and Athletic Administration since 2001. Miller completed his undergraduate degree at UW-Oshkosh and his masters degree in Administration from Ohio University.

Most recently, Miller served as the district Activities Director for Merrill Area Public Schools, where he helped grow student participation in extra-curricular events to over 85% of the student body. John and his wife Jill have three children, and the Millers are looking forward to living in Appleton and attending West side schools.

Jay Coonen photoDean of Students

Jay Coonen

Jay Coonen took the scenic route on his way to his teaching goal, he graduated from UW LaCrosse with his Bachelors of Arts degree in History with an eye on earning certification to become a teacher. Instead, Jay began working in sales and quickly moved into management, a recognition of Jay's leadership and people skills. While working in sales Jay met his wife Heather and they started a family.

After 14 years in sales he returned to his original focus to become a teacher. He attended the CESA 6 program and was soon one of the oldest student teachers at Houdini Elementary School in Appleton. After completing student teaching, Jay began his career as a special education teacher at Wilson Middle School and West High School. He became the Dean of Students at West High School in 2021.

Jay continues to take classes, pursuing his Masters Degree in educational leadership, and he enjoys coaching wrestling and being a fan of all Terror extra-curriculars, watching our kids on the field, on a court or on the stage.

Jay grew up in Freedom but is now filled with Terror pride! He is married and has 2 daughters that have graduated from West and are currently finding success in college. Jay enjoys spending time with his wife, his daughters and their four-legged family members. Jay most enjoys a great campfire surrounded by friends.