Crouther looks toward retirement as EHS searches for a new principal

It is a decision you have to make at one point in your career, but Eureka High School never thought it would happen so soon. After his 40th year in public education, Charlie Couther, principal, is retiring after being a teacher, a band director, an administrator and a principal. Crouther will officially retire, Tuesday, June 30.

According to Crouther, there is nothing pushing retirement other than a pure gut feeling.

“Retiring at this time and this age allows me to enjoy some years together with my wife,” Crouther said. 

Crouther will be starting his retirement with a series of trips. He will go to Hawaii for a cruise, Staunton State Park in Colorado and Destin, Florida. 

Crouther believes that there is a powerful connection in Eureka unlike anything he has ever seen and that will be what he misses most of all.  

“If you think of all the roles I have played and all the trips I have taken, I have never seen any place like Eureka High School,” Crouther said.

Crouther wants to make sure students know that he is here as the principal until June 30. He has always had a commitment to Eureka and says it will stay that way even after retirement. 

“My heart is here,” Crouther said. “My priorities are the students of Eureka, the staff of Eureka, the community of Eureka, the parents and the PTO.” 

Mr. Crouther would also like everyone to know about how amazing and unique Eureka High School is.

 “Be thankful you are here,” Crouther said. “Whether your parents moved here on purpose or they built a home here, you should go home and thank them. You are one of the nicest and finest high schools in Missouri, getting an education that will definitely prepare you for college. Be proud, be thankful and be happy that you are here at Eureka High School.”  

With a newly vacant position, Rockwood School District is now in the midst of hiring a new principal. 

The process started with the posting of the position and a parent meeting to discuss the needs of the community, January 9. 

“We do a staff and a parent meeting to ask what they’re looking for in the new principal,” Katie Reboulet, Superintendent of Human Resources, said. “We listen to what the community is looking for and integrate that when we screen applicants and when we write the questions.”

After the portal for the job closes, the interviewing commences. It begins with preliminary interviews that narrow down a pool of applicants. The first screening interview is a face-to-face interview that decides who goes on to the building interview.

The building interview committee evaluates the strengths and skills of each individual at Eureka and narrows down the pool of applicants to one or two solid candidates, who are then sent to Mark Miles, RSD Superintendent, for a final interview. 

“I sit down with the candidate and talk about their knowledge, experience, hopes and dreams about being principal of Eureka High School,” Miles said. “Then I make a recommendation to the Board of Education.” 

The new hire will be presented to the Board of Education, Thursday, February 6, in a closed-door meeting. The new hire can either be accepted and hired or rejected, which would cause the whole hiring process to restart. 

“The Board will vote on my recommendation and then immediately following the meeting is when an announcement will be sent out to the district as a whole,” Miles said. “The district will know by early February, most likely the evening of February 6.”

The greatest key in the hiring process is the opinion of the community and working to find a new principal that fits the needs of the students. This is incorporated with the parent meetings, the building interview committee and meetings with the faculty. 

“[Attributes mentioned were] someone who cares about students, somebody who is connected to students and someone who has an academic focus combined with social and emotional wellbeing,” Katie Reboulet, Superintendent of Human Resources, said. “The district is looking for someone who cares about the kids and is passionate about the job, and can meet the needs of the community, the parents, the staff, and the students.” 

As for students, they want the new principal to care about the students as much as they care about education. The common characteristic students seem to want is energetic, caring and supportive.

“[I want the new principal to] have the same positive energy for being a wildcat like Mr. Crouther,” Joshua Jennings (9) said.

Much like administration, students are looking for a new principal to provide them the support they need.  

“[The new principal should be] someone who is very supportive of the students and cares about their well being,” Carly Handyside (10) said.

Rockwood School District will announce the new principal, Thursday, Feb. 6.