Shock? Yes, you could say the news that Rio Rancho High School Principal Sherri Carver was retiring was a shock.

Sherri Carver

Two days after her birthday, Carver sent out an email late Tuesday afternoon to the RRHS staff: “After 30 years in education and after much thought and consideration, I have decided to retire at the end of the school year. I can truly say my years at RRHS were the best and most rewarding of my career, and the friendships and memories will always be cherished. I have thoroughly enjoyed every relationship I have built with each one of you.

“Thank you for allowing me to serve this wonderful community of caring, devoted and professional educators who provide such a strong foundation for student success. I am so proud to have been a part of it all. I am looking forward to the rest of the year; and, I will do everything possible to make it a smooth transition for the staff, administration team and the next principal.”

“I actually wrote it on my birthday, but told my family I just wasn’t sure I would send it,” Carver told the Observer. “I knew I needed to make a decision so they could start the process to hire the next principal. I pushed ‘send’ right before leaving my office Tuesday, got in my car and then the tears started.

“I am so proud to say that I was part of the Ram family at Rio Rancho High School, and that I played a role in maintaining the high academic standards for students, upgrading and refurbishing the school’s facilities and expanding the elective and (career technical education) offerings for students,” she said.

What’s next for Carver was summed up last in her email: “My retirement plans include spending more time with my three grandchildren, caring for my 90-year-old father and seeking out new adventures.  I will also be cheering for the Rams! My door will remain open.”

Activities Director Bill Duncan will miss her.

“Sherri cares deeply about every person on this campus,” Duncan said. “She shares the joy of their accomplishments, and takes the burden of their disappointments to her own heart, which is the sign of a truly exceptional leader.

“Even during difficult times, Sherri handled them with grace and poise that gave students and staff a feeling of security. I appreciate all the support she showed to our student activities and to me personally.”

A 1981 graduate of Melrose High School, Carver came to Rio Rancho with her husband, Bruce, who had been named to be the director of athletics for Rio Rancho Public Schools in 2007; he retired at the end of June 2018.

Sherri Carver later served as an assistant principal at RRHS, and then was named to replace Richard Von Ancken when he retired following the 2015-16 school year. Carver was the fourth principal at RRHS since it opened in 1997.

“Sherri Carver has been a great asset to Rio Rancho Public Schools and to the students she serves,” said Superintendent Sue Cleveland. “Her unwavering dedication to the education of our community’s children has propelled Rio Rancho High School into the highly respected and successful school that it is today.”

Rio Rancho Public Schools will advertise and recruit for the principal position in the coming weeks. It is anticipated that interviews for the position will be held toward the end of April.

“The person stepping into this role needs to have a passion for the education of high school students, and an understanding of the high expectations held in (RRPS),” said Secondary School Improvement Officer Renee Saucedo. “We are looking for a strong leader who values the delicate balance between academics, co-curricular activities, extracurricular activities and CTE programs. … Her shoes will be extremely difficult to fill.”