On July 7, the Mt. Hebron community received an email from Principal Scott Ruehl with a huge announcement. The message declared that effective July 20, Mr. Ruehl would be leaving Mt. Hebron for a position at the Board of Education as the Director of Leadership Development.
This is a fitting role considering that, over the past seven years as principal, Mr. Ruehl has improved Mt. Hebron leadership immensely and has even helped with the creation of the Mt. Hebron Leadership Conference, an event held in the spring for the last two years.
Signing off his email with, “Once a Viking, Always a Viking,” Mr. Ruehl is the true definition of this mantra. Having been a student, teacher, assistant principal, and principal at Mt. Hebron, his service will be greatly missed.
Along with the announcement of his promotion, Mr. Ruehl announced that his successor will be Mr. Andrew Cockley. Mr. Cockley acknowledged that he has “big shoes to fill as, Mr. Ruehl was an outstanding principal,” but he is more than qualified for the job. He has a degree from Gettysburg College in Finance and Accounting, a Master’s in Education from Arcadia University, and after teaching middle and high school math and computer science, he earned a Master’s in Secondary School Administration from Johns Hopkins University.
Since then, Mr. Cockley served as principal at Century High School in Carroll County for eleven years and just finished his second year as principal at the Applications and Research Lab (ARL) in Howard County.
“I’ve never seen him not smiling,” senior Tara Bellido de Luna, an ARL student, said of Mr. Cockley. “He makes you want to be better and keeps the school at an all-around happy environment.”
While the change dramatically affects the whole community, everyone is putting in their best effort to make the transition a smooth one. Mr. Ruehl and Mr. Cockley have already met and have taken a tour of the campus together.
SGA President Anna Hemelt said, “I know that SGA will work closely with our new principal to make the transition easy for him and for the entire student body.”
Mr. Cockley advised students, parents and staff to be open to the new changes arising. “Keeping an open mind about people and experiences will open doors that you didn’t even know existed,” he said.
“I expect students to want to come to school each day with an open mind ready to learn,” Mr. Cockley added, an expectation not much different from Mr. Ruehl’s.
Hemelt acknowledged that this changing of the guard is bittersweet. “While I’m sad Mr. Ruehl won’t be my principal for my senior year, I’m excited to be part of Mr.Cockley’s first year,” she said.
Incoming freshman Eliza Munns agreed. “I’m excited to start at Mt. Hebron with someone new, and I’m excited to see what he brings,” she said.
The school community is excited to see how the new the principal will lead Mt. Hebron. But no one is more eager for this new experience than Mr. Cockley himself. “I can’t wait to get started!” he said.