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National School Principals Month: Hochhalter, Decker & Marquez

Posted Date: 10/11/2016

National School Principals Month: Hochhalter, Decker & Marquez

October is National School Principals Month and Andover is fortunate to have fantastic principals who have dedicated their lives to educating children and preparing them for a lifetime of responsible living and learning. This week we are highlighting Cheryl Hochhalter, Rita Decker and Carlos Marquez.

Cheryl Hochhalter is the principal at Andover Central High School. She has taught for 31 years, spent 20 years in administration and has been a principal for 13 years. Her first job was teaching social studies and P.E. in a small school in North Dakota. Her favorite subject in school is history and government. Cheryl is motivated by providing the best possible educational experience for Andover’s students. ACHS students are her passion and they are an amazing group of students to work with. Cheryl believes you never stop learning and growing and you should focus on getting better each day. She loves working with the students and staff. Cheryl says ACHS has the best staff in the state and their students excel due to their hard work and dedication. “It does not get any better than this!” Her favorite initiative in Andover is the Ramp Up to Readiness program. She says it is an opportunity for students to take some time each month and focus on their own future. Ramp Up is not only college readiness, but it focuses on the skills and traits to be ready for any post high school experience our student will face. Cheryl says it is an honor to work with the Central students and staff. She also appreciates the parents and their support of the school. 

Rita Decker is the principal at Sunflower Elementary. She has been teaching for 33 years and is in her 14th year as a principal. Her first job was as a Title 1 math tutor/volleyball and basketball coach. Her favorite school subjects are music, science and math. Rita likes seeing students engaged in rigorous learning and is motivated to help her school attain this. Her favorite part about her job is when the students feel great about being at school. Rita’s favorite initiative is the Jag Cub Pride slips for the students. She feels it demonstrates how the school values students when they are doing what is expected. The purpose is to award students for doing a great job everyday at school so they always work toward being their best.  

Carlos Marquez is the assistant principal and athletic director for Andover Central Middle School. He has been teaching for ten years but is just starting his career as a principal. (His first job teaching in education was at Kenneth Henderson Middle School in Garden City.) His favorite school subject is history and he says the best part of his job is the positive relationships that are built with students, teachers and parents. Carlos is motivated by being successful for his family and seeing kids be successful. His favorite Andover Initiative is the Character Surveys at ACMS.