GREENVILLE — It has been a total of 38 years in education for Jeff Cassell, Director of Administrative Services for the Greenville School District, after the announcement of his resignation — or final retirement — last week.
It was in 2017 that Cassell retired as the Greenville High School Principal, which was his second retirement after an initial retirement from Bethel Schools.
While the path may seem unusual, it highlights a love of teaching and for Cassell, who turned 60 in March, “It doesn’t seem like its 38 years. It doesn’t seem possible, that time just went that fast.”
The youngest of five children, Cassell grew up in Darke County and was a Franklin-Monroe High School graduate. He entered Manchester College (now Manchester University) as a pre-med student as only to be expected given his older siblings went there with similar pursuits. However, a love of sports, particularly baseball, as well as a love to teach, made for a change of plans.
After that first semester, Cassell went into secondary education mathematics with a minor in physical education.
Cassell taught in Ansonia at the start of his career, before teaching at his former school district in Pitsburg. He then began working in the Bradford schools, followed by several years with Vandalia-Butler, and then the Bethel schools in Miami County.
After a few years with Newton Schools, Cassell returned to Darke County as principal at Greenville’s Woodland Primary, followed by the principal at Greenville High School.
After retiring as principal at GHS, he accepted the position of Director of Administrative Services.
Overall, Cassell spent 19 years as a teacher and 19 years on the administrative side as principal, superintendent, or director along with years spent coaching, technology work, and even tutoring fellow teachers.
When asked about the highlights over the last 38 years, beyond the current novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, he noted how much education has changed since his teaching career began in 1982.
“There’s really no way we could have school online like we are trying to accomplish now,” said Cassell, referring to the COVID-19 forcing school closures and education continuing at home and online. “The communication tools that we have […] is totally different than when I started this adventure.”
When asked how current circumstances may affect any potential immediate retirement plans, Cassell stated he had plenty of tasks to accomplish at home, including some downsizing and work outdoors, and perhaps getting in some golf time. And while his teaching career bookends in Darke County, he did note since he still holds a license, if he were needed as an interim, “I would help out.”
As announced during the Board of Education meeting last week, Greenville Primary School Principal Jody Harter will now serve in the position as Director of Administrative Services for the Greenville School District.
Reach reporter Bethany J. Royer-DeLong at 937/548-3330 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more news, features, and sports at DarkeCountyMedia.com.