New team leads Intermediate School
by Kate Shunney
Following the sudden death of Principal Robert Rentschler in June, Warm Springs Intermediate School has assembled a new administrative team that is eager to see the return of students on August 26.
Former Assistant Principal Joyce Ott was selected by the Morgan County school board to be the school's new Principal. Dudley Cable, the former Widmyer Elementary Assistant Principal, has transferred schools and taken over Ott's post as second in command.
Their first order of business will be to welcome 475 new and returning students in grades 3-5 and shepherd them through a difficult process – grieving for the late Dr. Rentschler, who had been principal at Warm Springs Intermediate since 2005.
We need to let kids grieve in their own ways, said Ott. Counselors and teachers are preparing to help the school's young students with questions or sadness about Dr. Rentschler's death.
Not the year for change
Ott said 2008-2009 won't be a year for change at the school.
Dr. Rentschler ran an excellent school. We think if there's nothing broke, don't fix it, she said.
As a new team, we have an open-door policy so people can get to know us and find out what we're about, Ott said.
Cable, who comes to the school after just a year in Morgan County, brings with him a specialty in testing and assessment. Cable's previous teaching and administrative work in Colorado focused on that state's equivalent of West Virginia's WESTEST, which measures student mastery of skills.
We're very date and assessment-oriented. Our data drives us to do better, said Ott.
With a staff of 55 employees, Ott is in charge of one of the larger schools in Morgan County. Her previous teaching experience in Jefferson County prepared her for work in a big school, she said. Ott's aim is to create a big school with a small-school feel, she said.
In addition to a new Assistant Principal, Warm Springs Intermediate will also welcome two new fourth-grade teachers, a fifth-grade teacher, a new counselor and a remedial reading specialist.
The school will host an Open House and a memorial for Dr. Rentschler on August 25 from 4 to 5:30 p.m.