District welcomes new administration

Dylan Dawson and Alexis Poletti

The Dover Area School District has made two new hires to district administrative staff: Mrs. Rina Houck as the new assistant superintendent and Dr. Kelly Cartwright as the new superintendent. Houck was selected during the January 2021 Board of Directors Meeting, and Cartwright was hired in December of 2020. Both staff members bring plenty of experience to the table.

Houck is thrilled to join DASD. “I can’t wait to meet the people of the Dover Area School District. I’m anxious to meet all of my fellow administrators and educators as well as the students. I’m excited to tour the buildings, especially the brand new high school. I am hoping to have many opportunities to interact with the students.” She’s eager to start working as soon as possible and her top priority is to get to know the people of the district. Houck says, “I want to know the strengths of each building and how I can help make all of the Dover schools the best they can be.” Houck started her career 29 years ago as a third grade teacher, just one year younger than she was when she decided to pursue a career in education. “I decided I wanted to be a teacher when I was in the fourth grade and never really thought about being anything else.”  Houck comes to us from Hanover High School and says, “Those experiences working with teachers and students at elementary as well as the high school level have prepared me very well for this position.” Outside of work, she enjoys swimming, running, and baking.

Cartwright officially became Dover’s new superintendent on March 1st and replaces Mrs. Tracy Krum, who is retiring. Cartwright used to serve as the assistant to the superintendent in the Conestoga Valley School District in Lancaster County. She’s looking forward to meeting all of her new coworkers. “I am excited to be meeting and talking with dedicated, devoted staff members – who love kids, love teaching, and love Dover – in every building and department.” She earned a doctorate degree in school administration from Widener University, a master’s degree in school administration from Western Maryland College, and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Ohio University. When not in the office, Cartwright enjoys spending time with friends and family, reading and writing, cooking, traveling, and spending time outdoors. “Listening and learning are my priorities for the immediate future”, says Cartwright. “I presented a six-month Entry Plan to the School Board during my second interview for the position. I am currently working through my plan and will continue to do so, and adjust as needed, until I’m acclimated to the position and the district.” Family is the top priority for her, and it helps her relate to coworkers and to accomplish tasks from the same point of view. “Family comes first for the vast majority of people I know. Remembering that, for myself and others, helps put challenges into perspective.”

With two experienced new hires to the district administration staff, Dover looks to continue navigating this challenging school year. Houck and Cartwright are up for the challenge.