Longtime Fraser Valley teacher Cindy Rimmer named next Middle Park High School principal
GRANBY — A new principal is coming to Middle Park High School next year, though to many parents from the Fraser Valley she will likely be a familiar face.
The East Grand School District in February selected Cindy Rimmer, longtime teacher at Fraser Valley Elementary and current assistant principal at Middle Park High School, as the next principal Middle Park. Rimmer will replace current principal Thom Schnellinger who is retiring at the end of the school year.
“I’m thrilled,” Rimmer said of her selection. “I consider it a privilege to lead Middle Park High School and I hope to work with our students, staff and parents for many years to come.”
East Grand School District Superintendent Frank Reeves echoed her sentiments, saying the district is excited for her selection.
“During the past year as the assistant principal, Cindy has shown great leadership and we are confident that she will be a positive fit,” Reeves said. “The staff at the high school was clear in that they wanted a principal who knows the culture and community. Cindy certainly fits that criteria.”
A transition team is already working to ensure that the transition in administrations at Middle Park High will be as seamless as possible, according to Reeves.
Originally from Grand Island, Nebraska, Rimmer grew up on Colorado’s Front Range and received a degree in elementary education from the University of Nebraska. She has two daughters, one of which is a 2014 Middle Park High School graduate and another currently a sophomore.
Rimmer moved to Grand County in the mid-1990s and began working as a substitute teacher at Fraser Valley Elementary. In 1999, she became a long-term substitute for the school and went on to teach third, fourth and fifth graders on the county’s east end for 19 years.
Her initial decision to become a teacher was in part influenced by her own elementary teachers who she said made a lasting impact on her life.
The educator said she hopes to bring a sense of belonging and excitement for education, an inspirational attitude she found in teachers throughout her own education. The decision to become a school administrator was driven by her desire to impact education at a different level, she said. She initially took on the role of assistant principal to gauge how she would feel about transitioning from being a teacher.
“As an administrator, I found that I have the unique opportunity to work with both staff and students and I loved the challenge more than I ever expected!” Rimmer exclaimed. “So, as bittersweet as it was to leave the classroom, I truly have never looked back.”
Rimmer explained her educational philosophy in terms of high standards and defined expectations.
“I believe that all students can succeed and benefit from high standards, consistency, well-defined expectations, and a caring, nurturing approach in an environment that is safe physically, emotionally and socially,” she indicated.
She highlighted the importance of communication between parents and the school that allows for strong positive connections in a trusting and caring environment, leading students to develop confidence, increase independence, solve problems and achieve success.
Middle Park High School, according to Rimmer, has numerous strengths already under its belt, from a high graduation rate, to the school’s “delicious and nutritious” food service options, full-time skier program and involved and supportive parents and community members. She said the greatest challenge the school faces, however, is continuing to develop a stronger sense of social and emotional security.
Rimmer has held several distinctions in her educational career including working on curriculum development with the Colorado Department of Education and RMC Health and becoming a Colorado America Achieves Educator Voice Fellow in 2016 was a member of the 2017 Colorado Education Commissioner’s Teacher Cabinet.
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