New GCHS Principal Named
Cole Albright is the new principal at Glenwood Community High School.
Albright was formally approved as the high school’s top administrator by the Glenwood Community School District Board of Education in late June. He replaces Rick Nickerson, who resigned as principal in May to accept the same position at Treynor High School.
The hiring of Albright brings and entirely new leadership team to the high school this year. Lorraine Duitsman was hired as the school’s new assistant principal last month. Both began their new positions Friday.
“We are excited to have Cole Albright leading our high school,” said Glenwood Superintendent Devin Embray. “His energy and passion in wanting to become a lifelong Ram couldn’t be mistaken. His experiences are right in line with the direction we are headed as a high school and district.”
Albright, 32, comes to Glenwood after serving the last three years as the assistant principal at Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson High School. Prior to that he was an English teacher at Saydel High School in the Des Moines area.
Glenwood’s reputation and his long admiring the district from afar attracted him to the position when Nickerson stepped down.
“Being at Thomas Jefferson and competing against Glenwood in quite a few things I had a lot of chances to see their success in athletics and activities and academics,” Albright said. “They’ve done a lot of good things. So, I looked at those pieces and thought this would be a good fit for me and my family for a long time.”
Coming from Bronson, a community of 300 in northwest Iowa, Albright always hoped to return to small town life one day. Glenwood gave him that opportunity.
“I wanted to get back to a community feel with the small towns around contributing to that and the school serving as the heartbeat of the community. That was very attractive to me.”
A former offensive lineman at Morningside College, Albright earned his teaching degree before going on to earn his graduate degree in educational administration at the University of South Dakota.
Albright’s trajectory from English teacher to principal charts a quick rise in just nine years in education. He credits his advancement to a steady mix of conviction, integrity and leading by example. As the oldest of four siblings, one of which has developmental disabilities, he said he assumed a leadership role early.
“I think all that’s been a big part of it,” he said. “And I’ve always been a hungry person in terms of being ambitious. A lot of times people are ambitious tend to look for easy ways to goals and that’s never been something I’m interested in. I’ve always believed in being hard working, having integrity and conviction.”
As an administrator he considers mental health, connecting student, families and teachers and also preparing and providing opportunities for students in their post-high school life as the issues closest to his heart.
“With the pandemic there’s been an emphasis on mental health and getting people back into the swing of things and schools have played a huge part in that,” he said. “Trying to get our young people back on track and excited about learning and what the next steps are after high school, whether its college or trades. A lot of that comes back to making school a place where our teachers and students and parents are a part of it.”
He’s a big believer in “if things are going well, it’s culture and if things aren’t going well, its culture.”
“I want to make an emphasis on that and what we’re building here. We want to define what it means to be a Glenwood Ram and I feel the clearer we can be with that and what our expectations are in the environment is something that is very close to me.”
Albright is a father of three children, ranging in age from 12 to 5, who will be enrolling in Glenwood schools this fall. He and his wife, who is a third-grade teacher and track coach in the East Mills School District, are currently scouring Glenwood for a new home.