Vertikoff departing Carlisle Elementary


After eight years with Delaware City Schools, Carlisle Elementary School Principal Paula Vertikoff announced this week she will be departing the school to seek a new position.

Vertikoff took the principal position at the school in 2016 and said she has made many positive memories at Carlisle and will miss the school community when she leaves at the end of the school year to take a position as an instructional coach with education company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Vertikoff said the role affords her more flexibility and time to pursue writing children’s books with retired school counselor Marie Weller.

“I’m always excited to try something new and always learning,” Vertikoff said. “I’ll still be working with teachers and students but in a different capacity as an instructional coach. I’ll still be in the educational world.”

Vertikoff told families and students about the move earlier this week and said she will miss the staff and students at Carlisle.

“I’ll miss our funny little stories and our Carlisle family,” Vertikoff said. “(I’ll miss) how we all come together; parents, teachers, students. That collaboration … I enjoy seeing those people grow. The students from year to year and the teachers growing as professionals. I liked getting to know them and having that connection.”

Vertikoff said her favorite moments of her time at Carlisle were “anything that’s a core memory for kids.”

“I have so many favorite memories,” she said. “All our outings together and all the hugs … Getting presents from them. I will miss all the memories that we’ve made together.”

Vertikoff said she will miss working with Weller and teachers and students to produce “Good morning, Pacers,” a regular video segment aimed at helping students learn about becoming “kind, respectful, responsible leaders.”

Vertikoff added she’s proud of the way the school came together in “difficult situations” like the pandemic.

“(Delaware) is a big community that feels small and welcoming,” Vertikoff said. “They’ve been very supportive. I received so many emails and well wishes (after I announced I was leaving.) It’s been amazing and bittersweet.”

Vertikoff said she is sometimes called the “grandma” of the school because “(I) love everyone, unconditionally, and I want the best for them,” and she hopes that becomes her legacy at the school.

“When you pour your heart and soul into something and hopefully your body of work speaks to families and whoever was involved because as a principal, that’s what you do,” Vertikoff said. “You do everything as a principal from pulling weeds to teaching in a classroom to recess duty. You have to balance that with being with students and communicating.”

Vertikoff’s last day with the district will be June 3.

“I wish Carlisle the best as they transition to a new leader,” Vertikoff said. “I believe in this community. It’s a great community, and I’ll miss it.”

Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903.

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