Leaving Sabetha will be ‘Bittersweet’ for SHS Principal Sheri Harmer

Current Sabetha High School Principal Sheri Harmer will retire at the close of the 2017-18 school year, in order to spend more time with her husband and four grown children.

Sheri Harmer stands in the halls at Sabetha High School. She will retire at the conclusion of this school year.

The people. This is Sabetha High School Principal Sheri Harmer’s answer when asked both what she has enjoyed most, and what she will miss most, as she prepares to retire at the conclusion of the 2017-18 school year. She has served as principal at SHS since the 2014-15 school year.

First and foremost, Harmer said, she will miss the Sabetha students.

“We have wonderful students at SHS that are very respectful and a joy to be around,” she said. “We really have such great kids.”

Harmer says she also will deeply miss the staff, parents and community.

“I will miss coming to work every day — working with people whose primary goal is to help students learn and grow,” Harmer said. “Anytime I have needed anything for the school, all I have had to do is ask and if it has been good for the student, school and community, people have been supportive and quick to respond.”

Harmer said she is excited about the growth that has been happening at SHS, and credits this growth to an amazing set of teachers and staff.

“I am most excited about the how the individual plans of study have evolved, and the opportunity for students to own their learning and have time to discover their passion and interests for careers that they would like to explore and work toward. One of my favorite quotes is that education makes all other professions possible.”

Harmer says that, while she has worked hard to try to make a difference in the lives of others, she has benefited much from others.

“One of my favorite graphics is the one that shows a line representing success, which in reality is not always straight but a line that can move up and with a positive slope to represent change and growth,” she said.

This line still goes up, but it can look quite messy on its way, reflecting change and growth. It is a reminder to never give up when working with students and/or change.

As for her life, Harmer has spent the past 31 years it in the field of education. She has been a business education teacher, testing coordinator, PowerSchool administrator, assistant elementary school principal and a high school principal. She says she loves her chosen career and isn’t sure what she will do after she retires at the end of June.

“It is bittersweet, because I love what I do,” Harmer said. “But as a high school principal, I am not home much and I just want to be able to spend more time with my family.”

Harmer’s family includes her husband, Kevin, and four children — Devin, Brie, Jenae and Jayce. After 40 years with Union Pacific Railroad, Kevin retired in October, so Harmer is looking forward to spending their retirement years together. Devin and his wife Courtney live in Kansas City, where he works for Cerner and she works for Payless. Daughter Brie is in Physician’s Assistant school through Wichita, and her husband Drew Mueller is a physical therapist at Rebound in Topeka. Daughters Jenae and Jayce are also still in school, Jenae attending nursing school at the University of Kansas and Jayce attending Kansas State University.

Other than knowing she wants “more time with family,” Harmer says her after-retirement plans are mostly undecided.

“My main focus is to finish strong at SHS, and that leaves very little time to devote to the next step,” Harmer said. “I wouldn’t want it any other way.”

Superintendent Todd Evans said he will miss Principal Harmer’s positive attitude, as well as her ability communicate.

“She has been good at modeling what it is to be a lifelong learner for adults, as well as students,” Evans said. “The leadership style that she brought to Sabetha High School was one of shared decision making.”

Harmer said her time at SHS has been well spent, and she plans to keeps relationships with many of the people she has met.

“USD No. 113 is a progressive district that places high standards on professionalism and respect, and I admire that,” she said. “I will promote Sabetha wherever I go.”

Amber Deters120 Posts

Amber Deters is Co-Editor of The Sabetha Herald, where she has been on staff since 2005. She specializes in school board, election and legislative reporting, as well as photography and page and advertising design. Amber is a 2005 Kansas State University graduate with a degree in journalism and mass communications, print journalism sequence. She lives in Sabetha with her husband and three children.

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