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Sherrell will bid farewell to Waluga Junior High School

by: , Sherrell

Steve Sherrell, principal of Waluga Junior High School and an employee of the school district since 1977, was among retirees that were honored at a tea recently.

Sherrell has been with the district, serving in various capacities, for his entire career. 'What I love most about the district is the strong sense of community and parent involvement,' he said. 'That's always been that way. I don't mean just in the foundation, but just when we need to get them on the phone, they're there.'

Sherrell, whose wife Tracy teaches health and P.E. at Lakeridge, is looking forward to spending more time with his kids who will both be at Lakeridge next year.

'I want to be the parent volunteer,' he said.

Sherrell started out his career as an English and social studies teacher at Waluga for 16 years. He then worked at the district office in various roles including the district administrator for facility bond projects from 2000-2005, which he said was one of the more challenging opportunities he has had during his career.

'Just the immensity of the project and working with contractors and architects … It gave me a greater appreciation for things outside of school,' he said.

After filling that role, Sherrell found his way back to Waluga as the principal.

'I'll miss the kids and their daily energy, watching them grow and change as they become adults,' he said.

A fond memory for Sherrell involved a dunk tank and a business suit. It was his first year as principal and the kids wanted him to participate at the dunk tank during a fun day. Sherrell kept telling the kids that he had a meeting with superintendent Bill Korach and that he couldn't get wet (knowing full well that he didn't). Finally, he 'gave in' and the first kid threw a ball right on target and Sherrell was dunked.

'I hope the kids remember me as someone who knew them as individuals,' he said.

Though the district has well-qualified principals, Korach commented that 'there isn't one I feel that I can count on more than Steve. He has a can-do, whatever-it-takes high-performing personality.'

Sherrell's time with the district isn't up, yet. He will step into a temporary role this fall when Donna Atherton, director of secondary education, goes on maternity leave.

Sherrell was the last retiree honored at the tea. Six others received gifts and certificates to commemorate their careers, and seven others are also retiring this year.

Korach closed the tea (his 21st retiring tea) with these remarks: 'People will follow behind you, but you can never replace the unique contributions of individuals.'