TJ Helling, Assistant High School Principal

Inola Public School is pleased to announce that Heather Ellis has been named as the new principal and TJ Helling will be the assistant principal of Inola High School.

Ellis is currently an assistant principal at Inola High. She replaces Mr. Paul Gruenberg, who is retiring after 36 years in education. Dr. Kent Holbrook, Superintendent, commented, "I have mixed emotions about seeing Mr. Gruenberg retire.  On the one hand I'm happy for him.  He gets to retire while still in great health and I hope he gets to enjoy some well-deserved free time!  On the other hand, it's hard to see him go after working with him for fourteen years.  He and I started at Inola the same year and he's the only High School Principal I've had here.  He has done a great job and I will really miss working with him.  I will also miss laughing at him when he frequently requested that I send him to Educational Seminars--in places like Orlando, Miami, Las Vegas !" 

Ellis holds 21 years educational experience as a classroom teacher and administrator.  After teaching at Collinsville and Skiatook, Ellis joined IHS as the Assistant Principal of Inola High School in 2011.  During this time, Ellis has facilitated a virtual school for students to successfully make up credits, among many other duties.  Upon acceptance of her new position, Mrs. Ellis stated, “I am super excited about the future and working with teachers and students to make IHS the best school in the area."
"With Mr. Gruenberg's retirement, I can't think of a better person to step up and take over the High School than Heather Ellis," Holbrook said.  "She is one of the hardest working people I know.  She loves our kids and it's obvious that she always has their best interests in mind.  Mrs. Ellis is extremely conscientious about any and every assignment she has been given.  She will be an exceptional High School Principal."

Helling has been serving as the Inola Elementary Assistant Principal for the past four years.  Joining the education profession in 2002, Helling brings experience from areas ranging from severe/profound disabilities to coaching to alternative education to ministry.  "My desire is for students to see what we see in them; I want them to know we see their full potential and what they can become. Our desire as educators is to bring that out in them for the world to see," Helling stated.  

Holbrook concluded, "the same about the new High School Assistant Principal, Mr. TJ Helling; he has done an outstanding job as Assistant Principal at the Elementary, going way 'above and beyond the call of duty.'  I know he will bring that great work ethic and excitement with him as he moves back to the High School."

Please join the Board of Education and Inola Public Schools in welcoming both Mrs. Heather Ellis and Mr. TJ Helling to their new positions and congratulating Mr. Paul Gruenberg on a well-deserved retirement.