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Grundy County High School opens the 2014-2015 school year with a new principal. A familiar face at the high school after serving as vice-principal for the past several years, Jamie Ruehling hopes to make a positive impact on the students and the community as the school leader.
Ruehling was born and raised in Grundy County. He graduated from Grundy County High School in 1992 and continued his education at Cleveland State and Tennessee Tech. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education, a Master’s Degree in Physical Education, and an ED.S. in Instructional Leadership. As an undergraduate, Ruehling played college baseball and moved on to coach baseball while getting his graduate degrees.
After graduation, Ruehling returned to Grundy County to teach in the local schools. He began his career at Palmer Elementary and Swiss Memorial Elementary teaching reading and science. He taught physical education at North Elementary and at Swiss.
Ruehling briefly coached baseball off the mountain, as the head baseball coach at Whitwell and then at Marion County.
Recognizing that Grundy County was where his heart was, he came back to teach Special Education at Coalmont Elementary and became the Physical Education coach at Coalmont and Pelham. He then served as principal at Swiss.
In 2008, Ruehling was assigned as vice-principal at Grundy County High School. He worked with Principal Rick Rust for four years and Principal Amanda Lance for one year before becoming principal this year.
“I always knew I wanted to be around young people,” says Ruehling. “This county is my home and I want to make sure our school is the best it can be for our students.”
Ruehling has the support of the teachers and staff behind him. As vice-principal, he created a leadership team that was an essential part in the school’s receiving the highest rating in the state for the 2012-2013 school year. This year, that same leadership team is back together and hoping to make improvements for the students and families of GCHS.
“I am not a micro-manager,” Ruehling stated. “I trust the teachers at the school. We will continue to use the Power School program implemented last year and will expand on it. Our goal this year is to improve scores and work to produce a family atmosphere – an atmosphere of comradery – throughout the school.”
Ruehling is excited to see how much the teachers at the high school care. This summer, 16 teachers worked eight hours a day over a period of several weeks to ensure students had their schedules and were ready to start in August. Ruehling says the teachers did this on their own time.
Ruehling and his wife Amanda have three children – Jaden, 11, Jalie, 9, and Jeter, 4. He loves to spend time with his family. When not working, his hobbies include hunting, acting, and painting and drawing.
“One of the best things about working with the school system is interacting daily with the students,” says Ruehling. “I get to see these kids grow into good, positive citizens. After they graduate, many students stop by the school and we get to see how they are doing. It means a lot when a student comes back and says ‘thank you, what you did helped me.’”