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Nickerson To Replace 'Hutch' As GCHS Principal

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By Joel Stevens, Associate Editor

Less than a month after Glenwood Community High School Principal Richard Hutchinson announced he was stepping down from his administrative position, his replacement has been named.

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And the school district didn’t have to go very far to get him.

In a special meeting on Friday, the Glenwood Community School District Board of Education officially approved the hiring of Rick Nickerson as the new principal.

Nickerson has served as assistant principal at the school since 2012.

Nickerson was one of 10 candidates that expressed interest in the position, according to Superintendent Devin Embray.

“Mr. Nickerson will bring a ton of positive energy and excitement from his current role into the principalship,” Embray said. “I look forward to working with him in this capacity to continue to support our high school in academic excellence and programming.  Mr. Nickerson will bring a strong work ethic to everything he encounters.  It will be an exciting time for him as well as our district.”

A Grand Island, Neb. native, Nickerson, 43, came to Glenwood after more than a decade in the Council Bluffs School District as a teacher.

“In the last seven years, I feel like I have a real good feel for the school and the community and what it takes to run the show here,” he said.

Nickerson interviewed with the full board in mid-April. When the offer came Friday, it was too good to pass up.

“It felt like a great opportunity to work  with people who you already know, who you are comfortably with, and know who you are so it didn’t feel like such a big jump,” Nickerson said.

The new principal will likely focus on his assistant principal duties through the end of the school year, but will work with an eye on his new responsibilities for next year as well.

“It’s kind of a 50-50 thing,” he said. “I’ve got things I want to get implemented and see if those things can come to fruition and hopefully my great ideas are more than just great ideas and I can get them off the ground, too.”

Hutchinson, who is known as “Hutch” throughout the district, tendered his resignation in April after five years on the job. 

Last week, Hutchinson confirmed he had accepted the principal position at Ottumwa High School.
Hutchinson, who will begin his new duties July 1, said the Ottumwa position was a surprise opening in a diverse district that’s intrigued him since applying for the same position three years ago.

“I thought there might be something for me to work with, get better at that part of my arsenal and see where it goes,” Hutchinson said.

Embray said he wasn’t surprised by Hutchinson’s April resignation.

“I guess I’d sum it up as he feels like he’s taken the Glenwood Community School District as far as he can in terms of his leadership and we appreciate that,” Embray said.

“He’s done a phenomenal job building relationships with our students and the culture and climate of our high school. We thank him very much for his time in our district. The impact he’s had on our student body has been great.”