John E. Ernst

As a principal for eleven years with four years of experience at Rolling Ridge Elementary School, Dr. John Ernst has served in administration at elementary, middle, and high school levels giving him a strong K-12 perspective. Known for relationship building, Ernst can be seen greeting students at the beginning and end of each day, spending lunch in the cafeteria, and learning the names of over 400 students in the first week of school. Rolling Ridge is a Title 1 school, and Ernst has implemented an important partnership with Heritage Senior Center, Taco John’s, Farmers Insurance, Grace Methodist Church, and Redeemer Lutheran Church to provide free monthly meals for Rolling Ridge families. Always involved in his school community, Ernst helped organized a 5K fundraiser on behalf of a Rolling Ridge family whose son has Spinal Muscular Atrophy, raising thousands of dollars to help the Jadon’s Hope Foundation. Ernst and his staff live by the motto that they could be teaching a future teacher, CEO, governor, or president, emphasizing educating each student to the best of their ability. For the past two years Ernst has served on a recruitment team that travels to college recruitment events to screen and recruit outstanding staff for the school district. He holds a B.A. from Coe College and master’s and doctorate degrees from Baker University.