Cache County School District announced the retirement of three principals from Ridgeline High School, North Cache Middle School and Greenville Elementary School, effective at the end of the school year.
“It’s unbelievably mixed feelings,” GES Principal Dee Ashcroft said. “There’s sadness in leaving what I have very much enjoyed doing and have done for a long time, but there is also some excitement about moving into the next phase.”
Ridgeline High School Principal Bob Henke
After 32 years as an educator, RHS Principal Bob Henke has announced he is retiring from a career he really enjoyed.
“It’s been a great career,” Henke said. “I almost left it early in my career but I’m glad I stuck with it, and it’s been a fulfilling career.”
During his career, Henke taught and coached for 18 years and served as an administrator for 14 years. He is also Ridgeline’s first principal.
The students and the staff are what Henke said he would miss the most, as well as trying to help teachers provide the best for students.
He said he really enjoys when former students contact him and express their appreciation for the impact he has had in their lives.
His colleagues said Henke is a natural-born leader with a positive attitude who encourages those around him to strive for excellence.
Henke plans to serve a mission with his wife for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a mission president and wife in the Mexico Ciudad Juarez Mission for three years.
“It’s a little surreal to be honest,” Henke said. “I’m leaving to go on a mission right after I retire, so I already have lots of plans. And so I’m excited, but I’m going to miss a lot of people and a lot of things, too.”
Henke said he was proud of his career and is ready to move on to the next phase of his life.
“I’ve really enjoyed my career,” Henke said. “I’m glad I did what I did. I hope that I’ve been able to make a difference for some people.”
North Cache Middle School Principal Terry Williams
NCMS Principal Terry Williams announced his retirement after a 31-year career in education, including 21 years teaching and 10 as an administrator.
“I have mixed emotions and it’s been a great career for me,” Williams said. “I will miss the work and the people.”
Williams said he will not only miss the positive atmosphere at the school but also the relationships he built with the students, staff and school community.
Williams said he was passionate about education.
“I feel very strongly about education,” Williams said. “I think it’s the greatest thing society can offer its people, and so I’m proud to be a part of that.”
The school’s staff and administrators describe Williams as calm, caring, reassuring and always looking for the positive in situations and people. They said they learned so many things from Williams.
Williams and his wife plan to travel across the world, but he said he would never forget his experiences as an educator.
“Fantastic experience in general,” Williams said. “I’ll walk away remembering the overall school community, the positive atmosphere, the relationships that are built, certainly, with teachers, parents and, most importantly, with students.”
Greenville Elementary School Principal Dee Ashcroft
With 45 years serving in CCSD, Ashcroft has become the employee to work the longest with the district. He served 15 years as a teacher before he served another 30 years as an administrator.
“He has students here at Greenville and he taught their grandparents,” GES fourth grade teacher Stacey Pugh said. “He’s reached three generations of students over the 45 years he has served.”
He said he will miss the relationships he built during his years as an educator.
“There’s no question what I’ll miss the most, just the relationships I have with the people,” Ashcroft said. “It’s what I’ve enjoyed about the job and it’s what I’m going to miss about the job.”
Pugh said Ashcroft was not only a mentor but like family to the teaching staff.
“He cares about people more than anything else,” Pugh said. “He puts people first and he can really relate to how they’re feeling and their frustrations, and that has enabled him to help students and parents alike, and then the teachers.”
According to Ashcroft, he calculated that through his 45-year career, he served over 16,000 students. He said he was grateful for all the help and support he received from all of the students and parents.
“I think the biggest thing, looking back at it, is the fabulous, fabulous experience of getting to know so many people and feeling like I have so many friends,” Ashcroft said. “What a wonderful experience to go almost anywhere you go and have somebody that you know there.”