A-W hires Grades Preschool-6 principal

Posted April 18, 2019 at 7:02 pm

j A-W Principal Michelle Henrich.tif

By Julie Ann Madden

Akron-Westfield School Board hired a new elementary principal for the 2019-2020 school year, replacing Grades Preschool-6 Principal Cathy Bobier who is retiring.

Michelle Henrich, of Akron, will begin July 1 at an annual salary of $90,000.

“I grew up in a small town,” said Henrich about why she applied for the position, “and I appreciate all the small town has to offer.”

“I wanted a chance to give back to the community that has given so much to my family,” she said. “Education is my passion. It’s what I enjoy.”

In 1985, the Brandt, S.D., native graduated from South Dakota’s Clear Lake High School (now known as Deuel High School).

She attended South Dakota State University in Brookings, S.D., for two year, then finished her Bachelor of Science Degree at Northern State University in Aberdeen, S.D. in 1992. Her majors were Elementary Education and Special Education. In 2002, Henrich received her Masters Degree in Technology for Teaching & Learning from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, S.D. She also earned an Educational Specialist Degree from USD, majoring in Educational Administration, in 2007.

Henrich spent her first 23 years in the educational field at Douglas School District, beginning teaching Special Education, then serving as At-Risk-Intervention coordinator, Language Arts Curriculum leader, and teaching fifth grade. In 2007, she became the district’s Grades K-1 Principal.

In 2016, the Henrich family moved to Akron, the hometown of her husband, Brad, who is employed with S.D. Department of Labor.

The Henrichs have three children: Callie, a USD sophomore; John, an A-W senior; and McKenna, an A-W sophomore. They are members of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Akron.

She became the principal of Sioux City’s Unity Elementary School, then Assistant Principal at Liberty Elementary School in Sioux City.

For the 2018-2019 school year, Henrich taught at Northwestern College in Orange City.

Henrich enjoys spending time with family, especially following her children’s activities. She also enjoys running, playing piano, refinishing furniture, and being outside.

“Akron-Westfield has so many positives, so many great things going,” said Henrich. “What is really important to me in the changeover is those great things need to continue so I need to listen and to learn and then to see all things they have going and together we will make some decisions about what can be next because I also need to learn from Mr. Briggs and Mr. Collins the vision they’ve laid out for the district a little bit longer term and then a chance to see where my talents will fit in that grand scheme.”

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