Rebecca Dunckel-King, 35: Beaver River High School


It is not every day you hear people say one of the reasons they get out of bed in the morning is because of their job, but for Rebecca Dunckel-King, it is.

“I love Beaver River. I really do. I feel like I have found my home,” Mrs. Dunckel-King said. “I love the teachers. This job is so much easier because of the teachers I have. They work so hard and they are so good. This place is amazing. The students at Beaver River are unlike students I have seen anywhere; they are so wonderful.”

Mrs. Dunckel-King is a north country native. After college, she moved around a bit, but ultimately decided to return to her roots.

“I decided to move back to the north country because when you are a teenager, you are thinking that Lewis County is not the greatest place to live,” Mrs. Dunckel-King said. “But when you become an adult and you are ready to get married and have children and settle down, this is the greatest place in the world.”

Mrs. Dunckel-King said her three children and her husband are the backbone of everything that she does and they are incredibly supportive. Time with her family has been an unfortunate sacrifice on her path to success.

“I was a teacher and I had summers off. Going into this I knew I was not just giving up summers, I was giving up time with my children,” Mrs. Dunckel-King said. “I just have to make sure the time we do spend together is really meaningful, quality time.”

Mrs. Dunckel-King said the best advice she ever got was from a couple who used to come into where she worked on Cape Cod. Each day they would come in, they’d encourage her to look at the bigger picture.

“I have always been the type of person to get things done. There is a difference between getting things done quickly and getting the right things done well,” Mrs. Dunckel-King said. “Almost all the time when I come against something where I have to make an important choice, I actually remember that couple and think I have to think of the bigger picture and I have to pick the one thing that I have to get done well.”

Mrs. Dunckel-King said Lowville Academy Elementary Principal Philomena Goss is one person who gives her the best advice. Mrs. Goss instilled in her the confidence and motivation to apply to SUNY Oswego’s educational leadership program and earn a certificate in advanced studies. It meant taking a huge leap of faith.

She said a pivotal moment in her life was getting the job at Beaver River.

“I was trying to find my groove and find what I really wanted to do in administration. It just so happened that this job opened at the same time I was kind of questioning what I wanted to do, so I applied for this and I got it,” Mrs. Dunckel-King said.“Being here has changed my outlook on administration.”

Mrs. Dunckel-King said the harder people work to build relationships, the better the students are served. Her success comes through building successful relationships with other administrators, teachers, students and parents.

“The closer you can get to them, the more you can tell them that we are in this together. We are working for the kids,” Mrs. Dunckel-King said. “If you get that message across and they know you are here for them, it just works well.”

What has she learned on her journey? She is much stronger that she thought she was and she understands people better than she thought she did.

“I have learned that I am much more compassionate and understanding now,” Mrs. Dunckel-King said. “You just get up and make sure that every question you ask is, ‘Is this good for kids?’ If it is, you do it. If is not, you don’t.”

— by Whitney Randolph


The Rebecca Dunckel-King File

Hometown: Lowville

Professional position: High school principal, Beaver River Central School District

Family: Husband, Daniel; daughters, Olivia, 9, Anna, 7, and son, Thomas, 3

Education: Bachelor’s degree, SUNY Oswego; master’s degree, SUNY Potsdam; certificate of advanced study in educational leadership, SUNY Oswego

Community involvement: Lowville Youth Soccer Organization; YEAH! Community Coalition through Mountain View Prevention Services; coach, Odyssey of the Mind team

Last book read: “The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way” by Amanda Ripley