At its June meeting, the Greencastle Community School Board voted to name Tamra Walker the new principal at Ridpath. Walker has spent the last five years as assistant principal at Tzouanakis Intermediate School.
Health issues for retiring Ridpath Principal Janice True also meant Walker spent some time at her new post at the end of the 2010 spring semester.
"For the last eight days of school last year, I was at Ridpath in the afternoon," Walker said. "Already, the team of teachers, support staff and Deer Meadow principal Gwen Morris have already proven to be gracious and accepting during this period.
"Although the circumstances were not ideal, it has been somewhat of a transition for me until board approval," she added.
Walker is beginning her eighth year with Greencastle Schools, having now worked at all five buildings of the corporation. Prior to her time at Tzouanakis, she spent a year with the split assignment of assistant principal at both Greencastle High School and Greencastle Middle School.
She was also first grade reading recovery and early intervention teacher at Deer Meadow for a year.
"Although it's a new role, I am familiar with the grade level," Walker said.
Before her time with GCSC, Walker spent five years teaching fifth grade for MSD Wayne Township Schools in Indianapolis.
Her roots in Greencastle go deeper, though. Walker attended both GMS and GHS and did her undergraduate work at DePauw. She did her masters and principal work at Indiana Wesleyan University.
Walker expressed her feelings that she was coming into a good situation at Ridpath. Her plans are to continue to good work already being done at the school.
"Ridpath is in great shape," she said. "We're going to continue our focus on literacy, and one of our goals will be to really improve student attendance overall. Although it's good, we want to move that to great. That's something the community will be hearing about."
Walker is also thankful to have had a good role model for the last five years.
"I've certainly had a good teacher in Dan TeGrotenhuis. He has modeled what it means to be a servant-leader," she said. "I just plan to continue that the best I can."
The new principal is simply ready to serve in her new capacity.
"It certainly presents the perfect opportunity to begin this journey moving up from assistant principal to principal to serve the school and community," Walker said.
She is married to Jeffrey Walker, who works for the Indiana State Police. They have a 16-month-old daughter, Camille.