Pekin hires new 7th-12th grade principal

PACKWOOD ? Pekin Community School District will start the 2018-2019 school year with a new 7th-12th grade principal.

Clint Gingerich will assume the role after current principal Tim Hadley steps down at the end of the current school year.

Gingerich, 29, is a farm-raised Iowa native who currently serves as a teacher?s instructional coach and baseball coach for Oskaloosa High School. He believes his experience will add value to his new role as Pekin?s principal and looks forward to the challenges.

?I enjoy partnering with teachers and supporting their growth. I value being a great listener, building relationships, and making sure student-learning is at the focus of our work. If student-learning is the focus of our work, everyone will grow in our practices,? he said.

His own educational background provides a strong set of tools for the new position. Gingerich earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in business education from Northwestern College in 2011, and is currently completing a master?s degree in educational leadership from the University of Northern Iowa.

While the role of principal has many responsibilities and touchpoints with teachers, staff, students, parents and the wider community, one of its core duties is to create a vision for academic success, and to work with teachers and students to realize that vision. Gingerich aspires to achieve that goal.

?What drives me is relationships with people, and supporting people in doing their jobs and achieving their goals,? he said. ?There are always challenges to any leadership position and I want to make sure people have a clear vision and stay focused on the big picture. I want to help teachers stay focused on what?s important and why we do it.?

When talking about the relationship between a principal and the students, he doesn?t hedge about the importance of working directly with kids and that he definitely sees this as part of the role of a principal.

?I want to know their names. I want to greet them every day. Knowing your kids is critical. As a former teacher and a baseball coach, I can tell you that working directly with kids is critical. To help them shape their character and move toward their goals is so important,? he said.

As previously reported in The Ledger, Pekin principal Tim Hadley announced his resignation this past January. Hadley began working at Pekin in 2008 as a history teacher and assumed the role of principal in 2014. Hadley is looking to transition back into a teaching role at Pekin.