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Interviewing Lindsay Hentschel, what comes through is her endearing sense of humor and her love for her community.

Going into her 20th year with the Roaring Fork School District (RFSD), Hentschel will step into an assistant principal role at Glenwood Springs High School (GSHS) alongside Assistant Principal Gayla Rowe next year. 

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On May 31, GSHS Principal Paul Freeman announced that she would assume the position vacated by Assistant Principal Pat Engle, who, this spring, announced plans to step down. 

Hentschel’s roles with RFSD have included being a teacher, instructional facilitator, counselor, professional development coordinator and, in the 2021-22 school year, a counselor at GSHS.

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The oldest of four children, she was born in Connecticut and moved to the Fort Collins area in middle school. Her parents and a brother are still there, and last year, one of her sisters moved to Carbondale.

Hentschel and her husband, Hadley, who teaches science at Roaring Fork High School (RFHS), met while attending college. In 2003, one of Hadley’s college friends, a RFHS graduate, was offered a job at Basalt Middle School. When the friend heard about the RFHS science teacher opening, he called Hadley and told him to apply.

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Their drive to Carbondale for interviews was a bit of a rocky start, Hentschel shared. “There had been a rock slide, so we had to go up some pass in the middle of the night to come to interview, and I said to my husband, ‘Where are you taking me?!’” she recalled with a big laugh.

As a first-year teacher, she taught seventh-grade language arts at Carbondale Middle School, and after four years there, she taught English, journalism and creative writing at RFHS.

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While at RFHS, Hentschel helped foster the return of the student newspaper, The Rampage, first published as an insert in the Valley Journal and continued with the Journal’s transition to The Sopris Sun.

Teaching journalism, Hentschel worked with former and current Sopris Sun editors. “We restarted the student newspaper, but I credit Will Grandbois because he knew what he was doing,” she said with a laugh. “And then Raleigh Burleigh was one of my students and was running the paper for a while,” Hentschel shared. 

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While teaching at RFHS, she and her husband worked on an international adoption and traveled to Haiti multiple times a year. In 2013, they brought their boys, ages four and six, home.

During that time, she worked as an instructional coach at the district offices, working with first-time and new district teachers, and was also in charge of professional development for all teachers. Later, she developed curriculums in K-8 language arts, middle school science and high school math, which were adopted by the district.

In March 2020, she earned a graduate certificate in restorative practices from the Pennsylvania-based International Institute for Restorative Practices. Hentschel explained, “a big part of restorative practices is ownership — the idea that we move forward by acknowledging and owning our stories — and then thinking about, how do we do better together and how do we repair the harm caused?”

Before the 2021-22 school year, GSHS’s Freeman asked Hentschel to consider working as a guidance counselor, noting that her studies in restorative practices, with a focus on narrative therapy, would make a great addition to their team. “I was interested in doing more relational work and getting into more leadership roles,” she said.

Hentschel noted the burgeoning number of students within RFSD. GSHS, the district’s largest school, has over 1,000 students and 100 teachers and staff, a dramatic change since her arrival to the Valley 20 years ago. She credits Freeman and Rowe’s years of experience, saying they “have managed this huge growth over time. I feel very fortunate to get to learn from them.”

She agreed that the district, as a whole, has principals that work well together. “It’s a solid team. I’ve seen it for years, from the district office level. They can call on one another, and they support each other.”

Hentschel added, “I want to help build community because schools are one of the largest social institutions in the Valley. Glenwood has deep traditions, and we can continue to build upon them. It’s where families come together.”

After living in Carbondale for almost 20 years, she understands the strength of community. She said, “When we moved here, I didn’t know where we were moving to, but that’s what has kept us here.”

Tags: #community #Glenwood Springs High School #Lindsay Hentschel #Roaring Fork School District #The Rampage
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