Sometimes educators may not work directly with students, but have an affect on them nonetheless.
As human resources director, Neva Ringwald, 70, helps to hire teachers for Central Valley School District. When she was approached for the job after having worked as a school principal, she thought it would be a good fit for her.
“I’d been really successful at hiring really good teachers,” she said. “I impact kids, getting people in the right job.”
After 46 years in education and 10 in CVSD, Ringwald will retire at the end of the school year.
When she was wondering what kind of career she wanted, her high school English teacher often encouraged her to become a teacher.
“She kept telling me, ‘You’re going to be an English teacher,’ ” Ringwald said.
She majored in English at the University of Utah and started teaching high school.
She later moved to California and got a job with the Riverside Unified School District where she remained for 27 years. She started by teaching special education, moved into counseling at the middle-school level and soon earned her administrative certificate to be an assistant principal.
When she took over as principal of a school, it was an elementary school with 350 students. Three years later there were 750 students.
After a while, she became interested in personnel work in the district, which eventually led her to CVSD. Her son and daughter-in-law had moved to Bellingham and she and her husband of 38 years, Roy, wanted to be closer to them.
She was hired by former superintendent Wally Stanley as coordinator of classified personnel and eventually moved into the human resources director position.
She hasn’t been in CV as long as her other districts, but said she feels it is one of the highlights of her career.
“This is the best job I’ve ever had,” she said. “The best district I’ve ever worked in.”
When she thinks back over her years in education, she remembers working in three states and five school districts, but there is one thing she does miss already.
“I think about how much I miss teaching English,” she said. “But I’ve had an opportunity to work with such intellectually amazing people here.”
She’s looking forward to spending time with her husband, who is now 83. The two have children and grandchildren she is looking forward to seeing.
“I didn’t make a plan to end up here,” she said, but the encouragement of others helped her move into different positions, but always ones she enjoyed.
“I’m glad I did it.”