Plainview High School held a meet and greet Sunday to welcome the new high school principal, Richard Rutledge.
Rutledge commenced his role as principal on Jan. 2 of 2020 following the retirement of former principal Tony Richards.
Rutledge is a 1990 graduate of Albertville High School. He received his bachelor’s in secondary mathematics from the University of Alabama in 1995 and his master’s in secondary mathematics from UA in 1998.
In 2005, he furthered his education by receiving an education specialist degree in educational leadership followed by a Doctor of Educational Leadership degree in 2010.
Rutledge served as the former assistant principal at Crossville High School.
DeKalb County Superintendent Jason Barnett, along with DeKalb County Board of Education members Carol Hiett, Mark Richards and Monty Darwin, joined faculty, students and parents, as they welcomed Rutledge to Plainview High School.
Barnett said the position of principal at PHS had many quality applicants who made the decision hard.
“But it was very clear to me that Dr. Rutledge had the skills, ability and the vision to make Plainview the school it needed to be,” he said.
Rutledge addressed Sunday’s crowd and said he was thankful and humbled to be at PHS. He thanked the board members and Barnett for the process of choosing a principal.
Rutledge said he’s worked in six different school systems but has been in DeKalb County for a year and a half.
He said he “loved” his time at Crossville High School and the progress made.
Rutledge said during his interview, it became evident that his vision as a leader and Barnett’s vision and role as a superintendent matched up, or he felt like it did.
During the meet and greet, Rutledge spoke of his vision for PHS with a message of change and improvement.
“The response from our faculty just in the expectations of what we need to be doing, they have responded because they knew that’s what needed to be going on; they already knew what needed to be done,” he said.
He spoke of the community support, of the response from the staff and students so far and touched on his ideas for improvement.
“That first week on this campus, the students and teachers were phenomenal. Young people walking up to me, looking me in the eye and shaking my hand and welcoming me was unreal. I usually have to coach that up with the students, but I didn’t have to do that here,” said Rutledge.
He said most of the rules would follow those that were in place in August of 2019, but there have been some changes made, including age parameters regarding prom.
“I have a vision and an idea of what we can become, but I am learning Plainview and trying to be responsive to Plainview,” Rutledge said.
According to Rutledge, he has researched some former PHS principals and said each one of those left a mark in the school. Each one had a strength and a gift.
“I want to make sure those ideas and thoughts are a part of everything we do because that is what Plainview is, we are a legacy and a tradition,” he said.