Woodridge Elementary School’s new principal says her goals include building great relationships with the community and stressing public education’s positive aspects.

Gerrie Spellmann took over in July.

“Back when we were younger, the schools were a center of the community,” she said. “Now there can be some negativity toward it. A challenge is making sure we can get the word out about all the good things that are happening in public education. It’s all about building relationships between the adults in the school, between the community members and parents, and between the teachers with the students.”

Spellmann brings 23 years of experience to her leadership role in the Alamo Heights Independent School District.

“I’ve gotten a lot of positive impressions about the district,” she said. “There are so many good things going on with Woodridge Elementary. I’m looking to continue those things because there is a lot of great things already happening.”

Spellmann previously spent 10 years in the Judson Independent School District, with her last post as principal of Copperfield Elementary School.

“We are very impressed with Gerrie’s positive people skills, passion for public education, innovative thinking, commitment to continuous improvement and her leadership beyond her own campus,” said Superintendent Kevin Brown. “Gerrie will fit in perfectly with our amazing Woodridge staff and organizational culture.”

Spellmann felt the call to be an educator at a very young age.

“I love learning and helping others learn. I’ve always wanted to be a teacher since I was in elementary school. I’ve always wanted to be an educator; that’s just one of the things I knew I wanted to be growing up.” — Gerrie Spellmann

Being an educator, whether a teacher or an administrator, means being a leader and helping others, she added.

“I enjoy being an instructional leader,” she said. “Just walking the walk, teaching not only teachers and helping coach and guide them, but also students. I like to see those little light bulbs go off both with our students and staff members.”

She appreciates the teachers and other mentors who helped shape her life and educational philosophy, said Spellmann, who became an administrator later in her career.

“In every profession, every single person is where they are because of the influence of some type of teacher,” Spellmann said. “That is probably the most rewarding, being able to impact lives.”

Spellmann was drawn to AHISD because of the district’s focus on students as individuals, such as the “Profile of a Learner” initiative, including promoting pupils’ social and emotional well-being.

“When I read about Alamo Heights (ISD) and saw their mission and vision and the direction they were going, it was a great match,” she said. “The district really focuses on kids as individuals, as well as meeting the individual needs of those kids and meeting them where they’re at and taking them to that next level, no matter their current level of instructional functioning. It’s not one-size-fits-all education.”

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