New Twin Valley principal hopes to enhance 'caring environment'
WHITINGHAM — Twin Valley Middle and High School's new principal is packing up and heading to Vermont.
"I'm looking forward to getting up there and becoming part of the community and getting to learn the school and know the students," said Reed Mellinger.
Mellinger, who starts July 1, will be moving from Pennsylvania with his wife. They expect to close on a house in the area June 14.
Mellinger said he hopes to enhance what he already thinks is "a real caring environment" at the school and develop relationships with student and teachers.
Windham Southwest Superintendent Barbara Anne Komons-Montroll said Reed "quickly rose to the top from among 12 candidates" who were considered by an interview committee made up of members of the school board, staff, community and administration.
"We are all very excited by the depth of middle and high school administrative experience, the wide range of strengths and the student-centered philosophy that Reed will be bringing to our school community," Komons-Montroll said in a release.
Mellinger began his career as a teacher. He had retired last June from the Pennsylvania-based Jersey Shore Area School District, where had been a principal for 25 years.
"I took an early retirement," he said. "My longevity afforded me that opportunity. Now, we get to live and work and explore another part of the country."
At this point in his life, Mellinger said, he is not going to spend 25 years at Twin Valley but hopes to put in "a good five to eight years."
Mellinger found the small school size at Twin Valley "appealing." He has met with the superintendent and walked around the building. He said he needs to meet with staff to see what they need and want to make the school be its best.
The majority of Mellinger's time as an administrator at the Jersey Shore Area School District was spent at the middle school level. He served as the high school principal for approximately the last six years of his career there.
The new job provides Mellinger an opportunity to be close to the mountains. He said he has skied at many of Vermont's ski areas.
"I can snowboard as well," he said. "I'm a much better skier."
Mellinger said he has spent a lot of time near Mount Snow in West Dover, where he would visit a friend who teaches at the resort.
For more than 30 years, Mellinger has been a ski instructor at a small mountain in Pennsylvania. He plans to continue teaching at Mount Snow.
Reach staff writer Chris Mays at firstname.lastname@example.org, at @CMaysBR on Twitter and 802-254-2311, ext. 273.
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