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Golden Heart Honoree: Ashley Gehrke

Ashley Gehrke A fierce determination lies behind Ashley Gehrke’s constant warmth, humor and empathy.

Gehrke, the principal of Rolling Hills Elementary, is dedicated to every student at the school, and every facet of her work reflects that commitment. More specifically, she has made a point of mediating between special education teachers and general education teachers to ensure that all students receive equitable and consistent access to excellence in education. She communicates consistently and transparently with special needs families, and works tirelessly to keep everyone in the Rolling Hills community is on the same page.

She does all of this work without every losing her enthusiasm or commitment.

“She makes all of our students feel unique and included at our school,” notes Karen Hayes, a Rolling Hills teacher. “She loves her students, her staff and her school. She is proud of Rolling Hills, and it radiates from her.”

Gehrke’s investment hasn’t dimmed in the wake of all the challenges that have come along with a global pandemic. Even amid the transitions, quarantines and closures of COVID-19, Gehrke has kept the school’s commitment to excellence at the forefront of her work.

“COVID threw many curve balls, but she was ready for them and handled them with grace and confidence,” Hayes noted.

Other members of the Rolling Hills community have noted Gehrke’s own commitment to learning, and its impact on the daily operation of the school. A “learner and seeker of knowledge that will improve a student’s learning environment and lessen their anxieties,” Gehrke is on a constant mission to better herself and thus make Rolling Hills a more welcoming place for all students.

Gehrke’s generosity, her kindness and her constant smile have benefitted every student at Rolling Hills, and her commitment to equity, excellence and success comes through in her infectious enthusiasm. Ashley Gehrke truly has a Golden Heart.