Rentschler takes helm at NHES
Kaitlyn Clay, Staff Writer, [email protected]
North Harrison Elementary School has a new principal leading the team through the unprecedented 2020-21 school year. Kent Rentschler was selected for the position after working as the assistant principal during the 2019-20 school year. He succeeds Lisa Jones, who became the test and grant coordinator for the school corporation.
Rentschler, originally from Fulton County, moved to Terre Haute when he was younger and finished his schooling across the state line in Marshall, Ill., before going to college at Indiana State University to earn his undergraduate degree in physical education. In 2016, he began to work on his master’s in education degree and then went directly into an education leadership program at Indiana University Southeast, which was finished in the summer of 2018.
While Rentschler was pursuing his graduate degrees, he was also bouncing around various schools, holding numerous positions and titles. He taught in Vigo County, where he also was an assistant football coach at West Vigo High School. From there, he moved to the Bloomington area where he was a substitute teacher for a year at about 10 to 15 different schools before taking a temporary contract at Edgewood High School. During the summer of 2009, Rentschler was approached by the principal of Edgewood High School about an opening with the North Harrison Community School Corp.
That open position was filled by Rentschler from 2009 to 2019, where he split his time between North Harrison High and North Harrison Elementary schools teaching physical education. Last school year, Rentschler was given the opportunity to act as the assistant principal and physical education teacher solely at North Harrison Elementary School and rose to the occasion.
“Within the first few weeks of working in North Harrison schools, I felt very welcomed by the other teachers at both buildings,” Rentschler said. “I felt like this was a place that I could grow and help make a positive change for the students. It is a great community, and I have been fortunate to get to know so many families and work with kids of all ages. Coming from a community that is very similar in size and make up, it still feels like home.”
Coming into this leadership role during the midst of COVID-19 could have many running for the hills, but Rentschler said he has always tried to see the silver lining in situations. He said the school started to incorporate playing short clips of music on Fridays over the intercom and telling jokes during the announcements to bring joy and excitement back into the building to make up for events they
aren’t able to host.
“This is an exceptional school, and it is not because I am the principal,” Rentschler said. “It is because we have an amazing community and parents. I cannot put into words how much I appreciate my entire staff, the custodians, maintenance staff, bus drivers, teaching assistants, related services, office staff, cafeteria crew and teachers. Their expertise and work ethic is what has kept us moving forward this year. It is unthinkable what they are able to do each day, and I couldn’t be more proud to help support them as we continue through this year and many more.”