Reinhardt University alumni continue to excel in their careers, and a 2006 Price School of Education graduate has been honored by the state for her work as an educator.
Rachel Wasserman ‘06 was surprised May 23 with the announcement that she was named the Georgia 2016 National Distinguished Assistant Principal.
“Reinhardt is where it all started for me on my path to becoming an educator. I cannot tell you how proud I am to say that I am a Reinhardt grad,” Wasserman said. “The experiences I had there through my professors and fellow students made me the educator I am today. They are the ones that will stay with me always.”
The presentation was made by Hal Beaver, Georgia Association of Elementary School Principals Executive Director, at Woodstock Elementary School where Wasserman serves as an assistant principal. The honor also includes a $500 award.
“You have been chosen by your peers because you exemplify educational leadership of the highest quality,” he said, noting the award is presented to only one Assistant Principal in Georgia each year, and honorees are selected for successful leadership. “You have put the progress and well-being of every child at the forefront of school planning and operations. Your distinguished leadership and extraordinary service as an educator exhibit your commitment to improving young lives.”
Dr. Cindy Kiernan, dean of the Price School of Education at Reinhardt University, said Wasserman’s experiences at Reinhardt are reflected in the University’s mission of educating the whole person.
“As reflected in our University Mission Statement, Reinhardt seeks to educate the whole person by developing the intellectual, social, personal, vocational, spiritual/moral and physical dimensions of its students,” Kiernan said. “Graduates are distinguished by attributes that are developed through personal interaction with the faculty, the staff and fellow students. Ms. Rachel Wasserman’s experiences in the Price School of Education at Reinhardt University reflect a graduate impacted by faculty supporting this mission.”
Wasserman credits the educator that she has become to Reinhardt and its faculty members – a sentiment she highlighted while speaking at a recent retirement event.
She chose to speak about RU alumnus, former Reinhardt adjunct professor and former Cherokee County School District superintendent, Gene Norton.
“So you see, Mr. Norton, having you as a teacher did more for me than you will ever know,” Wasserman said during the event. “I would not be the Assistant Principal, sister, daughter or person I am today without being taught by a teacher like you.”
Wasserman began with the CCSD as a classroom teacher in 2006 after graduating from Reinhardt. She continued her education and earned a master’s degree in early childhood education and specialist in educational leadership degree from Kennesaw State University. She was named the school’s Teacher of the Year for the 2013-14 school year. Fellow RU alumnus and current Cherokee County School District superintendent, Dr. Brian Hightower, said the respect for Wasserman and her work as an educator and administrator go far past the walls of Woodstock Elementary School.
“Assistant Principal Wasserman is a dynamic leader who has earned the respect of colleagues at her school, the district and statewide,” Dr. Hightower said. “We are committed to growing and supporting leaders like Ms. Wasserman, who has risen to the challenge of helping to lead one of our largest Title I schools. I could not be more proud to congratulate her on this well-deserved honor, which we expect will be the first of many.”