“It’s time”: The end of an era
UPDATE: Tuesday, May 22 at the School Board Meeting, it was announced that current Hudson Middle School Principal, Michelle Bounds will be replacing Dr. Hammerle here at RHS for the coming school year.
After 39 years in education, Dr. Marlene Hammerle is retiring from her position as RHS principal. Hammerle has been principal of Rowlett High since it’s opening in 1996 and has remained its only principal.
“I always wanted to be an educator,” Dr. Hammerle said. “I’ll miss being the boss. I was the oldest of five girls so I’ve always been the head of things.”
When she was younger, Hammerle was positively influenced by a math teacher and decided to become one. Being a math teacher was satisfactory for her, but eventually, she was asked to become an administrator of a middle school. Initially, she was put off by the idea, but soon came around and took the job as assistant principal and then principal of Lyles Middle School.
Then, in 1996 she helped open RHS.
“I want my legacy to be that I cared about the kids,” Dr. Hammerle said. “It’s all about the kids.”
Hammerle’s goal through out her entire career has been to make a difference with youth. She said that when RHS became a recognized school, it was a major accomplishment for a 5A high school. Since then she has strived to make sure Rowlett continues to be outstanding in education year after year.
Along with that, she wants students to know that even with all the rules and procedures, there should be fun. She hopes the fun and educational excellency will continue even after she has left.
“If I kept going one more year, I’d eventually be walking across that stage with a walker,” Dr. Hammerle said. “Leif (her grandson) is graduating, and Steve (her husband) and I want to do some things together. It’s time.”
Dr. Hammerle, with her husband, plans to travel during the new found free time this fall. They will visit Portland and Seattle. Future travel also includes Canada, Hawaii, and the East coast to “see the leaves change colors.”
“It’s going to be a big job for the district to pick the new principals,” Dr. Hammerle said. “I’m glad I’m not the one making this decision.”
The new principal will be announced before the end of the year. Dr. Hammerle hopes to introduce the student body and staff to the incoming principal.
As for advice to the new principal, Dr. Hammerle advises that he or she doesn’t “change anything that doesn’t need to be changed” and “don’t rock the boat.”