New high school leader named

GOWRIE – Jim Henrich will serve as Southeast Valley High School’s first principal.

Under the whole-grade sharing agreement between Prairie Valley and Southeast Webster Grand community school districts, both districts will send their high school students to one building in Gowrie.

Henrich said he was excited about taking on the position.

“It’s a chance to start some new traditions,” he said. “I’m going to do some work to bring both high schools together.”

Henrich has been an educator for more than 26 years and an administrator for 13 years. He has served the last 10 years as principal at West Marshall High School, State Center, and before served two years as assistant principal at Webster City High School. He has also taught for Jefferson-Scranton High School.

“I taught social studies, and coached everything but wrestling,” he said.

More than anything about his job, the administrator said he enjoys the students.

“Every day is new,” he said. “We try to take a situation, and obviously we want to educate them whether its a good situation or a bad situation and help them learn.”

Henrich said he also enjoys building relationships with community and his staff.

“I’ve never gone to work, I’ve only gone to school,” he said. “I really enjoy it.”

Lois Irwin, Prairie Valley CSD superintendent, said Henrich’s experience and expertise is perfect for the appointment.

“He has done well in schools in terms of raising academic scores and a high level of participation in extra-curricular (activities),” she said. “He especially has some good ideas about activities and strategies for bringing teachers, parents, community members together from the two districts that will whole-grade sharing.”

She added, “I feel very comfortable and excited about what he’ll bring.”

The whole-grade sharing agreement has already yielded benefits for the two districts’ students, Irwin said, including more than 20 new classes.

“Prairie Valley has not had any type of business classes for several years, so, a whole new line of business classes,” Irwin said. “We had three teachers that had to split their day with drive time in between. They will no longer have to split their time. They will be in one spot. That will give them an additional period every day, that we’ve scheduled classes.”

Henrich said he is ready for the challenge of uniting the two districts under the Southeast Valley banner.

“We’ll be able to offer more selections for classes to our students, and we’ll be able to maybe expand college opportunities,” he said. “I know the baseball team is already working together, and they’ve been having a pretty solid year.”

He added, “I think it’s an exciting opportunity for both districts.”