CEDARVILLE — Chad Haemmerle knew several years ago where he wanted to take his education career: Cedar Cliff schools.
“This is the one spot,” Haemmerle said. “This is a really special place and kind of a dream job for me.”
The dream came true earlier in the week when Haemmerle was named the new principal for the Cedarville high school and middle school. He replaces Virginia Potter, who stepped down after 13 years as principal. Haemmerle comes to Cedarville from Piqua, where he had been assistant principal of the high school since 2011.
“I had a real good thing going in Piqua,” Haemmerle said. “I say this with every bit of honesty: This is a job I’ve been talking about since I started working on my administrative license five years ago.”
It’s almost like a homecoming. Haemmerle is a 1995 graduate of nearby Springfield Northeastern High School and wife, Sally, is a 1995 graduate of Cedarville High School. Sally’s parents still live in town.
“It’s just an exciting opportunity for us professionally and personally,” Haemmerle said.
The 37-year-old was one of 51 applicants, which was narrowed down to eight and then two, according to superintendent Chad Mason.
During the half-day interviews Haemmerle’s technological savvy is what helped pave the road from Piqua to Greene County. Haemmerle spearheaded a pair of grants, totalling $350,000. The grants were to improve teaching and technology in the classroom.
“Part of the reason our committee liked him is that he’s got a background and some expertise in technology in what he’s doing with the Piqua City Schools,” Mason said.
That’s important, Mason said, because the schools last year rolled out TRAD21 — a program that mixes traditional teaching with 21st Century technology. Last year’s freshmen received Chromebooks and each freshmen class going forward will receive one as well.
Haemmerle also received glowing reports from his peers in Piqua.
“Every single person we talked to, talked about his compassion and his love for kids and his desire to be an educator,” Mason said. “You can just tell he was a really driven person. He was going to be a hard worker. We just felt like we hit a homerun.”
Haemmerle will also be a chauffeur of sorts. His son Brett is entering the first grade and will attend Cedar Cliff schools.
“Brett is as excited as anybody about the move,” he said. “He’s going to be riding to school with dad and be in the same building. When he gets to be in the 11th grade I’m not sure how excited he’ll be about it.”
The Haemmerles also have a 2-year-old son, Brady.
Eventually Haemmerle would like to relocate his family to the area.
“This is a community that we definitely want to be a big part of for sure,” he said.
Scott Halasz covers Xenia and Greene County for the Gazette. He can be reached at 937-372-4444, ext. 137.