Rhonda Pennington is new Principal at Jefferson-Craig Elementary


Saying that she’s “Very excited to be coming home”, Rhonda Pennington was hired on Monday night as the Principal at Jefferson-Craig Elementary School.

She was unanimously approved at Monday night’s meeting of the Switzerland County School Board, and will begin her new duties on July 1st.

Rhonda Pennington came to Switzerland County as a teacher in 1986, teaching at Switzerland County Elementary School. There, she taught second grade, kindergarten, third grade, fourth grade, and also taught in the Summer Readiness Program.

She then came to Switzerland County Middle School in 2000, teaching both science and language arts.

In 2003, she and her family moved to Pickerington, Ohio, a community southeast of Columbus, Ohio.

While at home with daughter, Danni, Rhonda Pennington earned her masters degree and her principal’s license; and then began work for the National Middle School Association.

In that capacity she served as a Professional Development Coordinator and as an Integrated Media Initiatives Coordinator. In those duties she provided professional development; worked on the group’s national conference; coordinated workshops; and helped with webinars and webcasting.

“I had to make sure that the content was relevant for teachers both nationally and internationally,” Rhonda Pennington said.

She was also part of the team that developed “Today’s Middle Level Educator”, an online magazine; and also served as the listserve administrator for “Middle Talk”, an online listserve for middle level educators.

As she transitions back to Switzerland County, Rhonda Pennington said that she will remain involved in some ongoing projects with the National Middle School Association; and will be involved in presentations involving the gender project here in Switzerland County.

“I will also be continuing to work on a gender education book with Dr. Jones,” Rhonda Pennington said.

Rhonda and husband, Ken, still own “Pennington Place”, a vacation retreat on State Road 156 along the river; and as the family transitions back to the county; Rhonda Pennington said that they will honor summer reservations that have already been made; but the house will again become their permanent home.

“We are going to move back into it,” Principal Pennington said. “But we will be transitioning because it will take some time with my husband’s job.”

The Penningtons daughter, Danni, age eight, will be attending Jefferson-Craig in the fall – the same school that brother Chad and sister Laura attended when they were in elementary school.

But as she contemplates moving back to the area, she is also very excited about her new position.

“I am thrilled to be working at Jefferson-Craig,” she said. “They have such a high caliber of staff working there. I want to share ideas with them; and I want to hear their ideas. We’re always striving to make test scores better.”

She’s also walking into a building that’s undergoing quite a facelift this summer, as the school gets an electrical upgrade, new lighting, and other improvements.

“I have to get up to speed on construction that’s already in progress,” Rhonda Pennington said. “I also have to get up to speed on what programs have already been initiated prior to me coming on board. I’m sure it’s a full plate, so I’m working with Dr. Jones to learn things as quickly as possible.”

One element that Principal Pennington will be employing is the development of a Principal’s Advisory Council, which will be made up of staff members and community parent members.

“I would like the parents and the community to know that they are welcome to drop in anytime,” the new principal said.