Reigner retires, says farewell to Spring-Ford


Staff Photo

Doug Reigner retired as House Principal at Spring-Ford High School in September. The longtime administrator joined the district in 2007. Students know him for his role in coordinating Spring-Ford’s robust offering of extra-curricular activities.

Sam McVey, Editor-in-Chief

After three decades in public education, Spring-Ford High School House Principal Douglas Reigner called it a career last month.

For Reigner, it has been a journey.

After working as a teacher, counselor, and assistant principal outside of Spring-Ford for over a decade, Reigner came to Royersford in 2007 after accepting a position as an 8th Grade Center House Principal.

Four years later, he moved to the high school, where he has served as a House Principal for thousands of Spring-Ford students, many of whom have since graduated.

As he prepares for life after Spring-Ford, including new endeavors in the business world specializing in sales, Reigner reflected on his time at Spring-Ford — and his hope that, even if he’s not in the school, he’ll still see familiar faces.

“I’m going to miss the students, I’m going to miss the staff … and parents in general,” said Reigner. “I live in the Spring-Ford community, so I’m glad I’m still probably going to get to see students out in the world.”

And though the story of his education career may be nearing an end, the final chapter has not yet concluded: the Class of 2024 still has nearly two years until graduation, and will soon be overseen by Gavin Lawler, who will begin as Reigner’s replacement at a still-undetermined date. In the meantime, the role will be filled by Ellen Sykes, formerly of Souderton High School. Sykes’ official title will be 11th Grade Interim House Principal.

Regardless, much of Spring-Ford’s Class of 2024 will remember Reigner as their principal. After seeing off the Class of 2020 in a coronavirus-stricken world, Reigner was forced to pivot. He now had the unenviable task of managing the then-freshmen class during the 2020-2021 school year, a bizarre nine months that challenged students, teachers, and administrators in an unprecedented way.

While a global pandemic wasn’t the context Reigner imagined his final few years would be driven by, it’s important to remember that his legacy is much more. Most notably, students know him for his role in coordinating Spring-Ford’s robust offering of extra-curricular activities. In fact, under his watch, several new clubs, such as Junior Statesmen of America and Mock Trial, have been founded.

Spring-Ford’s house system, as well as Reigner’s role in extra-curricular programs, provided students with the opportunity to get to know him more than they may have expected.

Yes, this may have made leaving difficult for Reigner — which is, in its own way, a good thing.

“You develop relationships over those four years,” he said, comparing his experience at the high school versus the one-and-done nature of his former position at the 8th Grade Center. “And then you get to see that growth, you know, and by 11th and 12th grade, a lot of that petty stuff subsides … And by 12th grade, they’re literal adults.”

So, even as Reigner begins a new profession, it’s fair to wonder: Will he consider Spring-Ford home?

“Yeah, absolutely … Not just because of the fact I live in Upper Providence, but also, I mean, all the experience that I have had here really defines me, you know, as a person … it was such a great place to work.”