Jim Schuller stands out in front of Park View Elementary School each morning.
It’s his way to become familiar with everyone involved at the kindergarten- through- eighth- grade school of the Ripon Unified School District, where he was recently hired as principal.
“I need to be presence on campus,” said Schuller, who, on Tuesday, was enjoying his second week with students back in the classrooms. “I don’t want to be in my office (in the mornings).”
He’s come home.
Not that he’s ever left Ripon.
Locally, Schuller, who is thrilled to be at Park View – a five-minute drive from his longtime Ripon home – has seen his educational journey come full circle.
Originally from Iowa – he went to a small private college in Sioux Center, where he received earned a degree in secondary Social Studies with a minor in Physical Education – Schuller and his wife of 37 years Vivian left the harsh midwestern weather for that of the great northwest and its wet climate.
His first teaching position was a private elementary school in Monroe, WA.
After three years of instructing third- through- eighth- grade students in all subject areas, Schuller and his family came to Ripon in mid 1980s.
At Ripon Christian Schools, Schuller taught junior high social studies, high school geography, economics, and mock trial. He also coached during the heydays of the Knights, who won a 1988 state basketball title, and later served as the school’s athletic director.
In 2003, Schuller became the lead administrator along with Dean of Student and AD of the alternative education programs for the Hughson Unified School District for the next 10 years.
From there, he went to the Stanislaus Union School District, and was principal for Agnes Baptist Elementary School for five years.
Schuller, who, by then, earned a Masters in school administration with a second degree in Curriculum and Instruction, recently worked inner-city students at Merced High.
He enjoyed the work there but became intrigued with the opportunity of moving back home when the Park View position became available.
Schuller never left Ripon. He commuted to his previous jobs after RC including the daily trek up Highway 99 to Merced, where traffic to and from would vary at times.
He arrives daily to Park View, where his travel time is now a short hop, skip and a jump, at 7 a.m. daily.
“I’m not the first one here,” said Schuller, who is the last to leave school.
“I’m excited to be in Ripon. This is my home,” he added.
Schuller, in addition, has been involved in various programs in town, including the City rec leagues and the Recreation Commission.
“I enjoy giving back to the community,” he said.