RIPLEY - The Ripley Central School Board welcomed two new members to the district staff at its regular meeting Thursday night, Sept. 20.
The board approved the hiring of Roger Chagnon as music teacher and introduced Anna Armstrong as assistant principal and Committee on Special Education and Committee on Preschool Special Education Chairperson. Chagnon replaces Ripley music teacher Michael Dean, who resigned to take a job in South Carolina. Armstrong's hiring was approved at last month's meeting.
Chagnon grew up in the Westfield/Ripley area. He attended Bethel College in South Bend, Ind., and worked for the Y.M.C.A. in Cleveland and Jamestown for several years, responsible for youth activities. He then worked for three years as band director for the Brocton School District before being hired for the same position for Westfield Central School.
Photo by David Prenatt
Anna Armstrong and Roger Chagnon were welcomed to the district at the Ripley Central School Board of Education meeting Thursday, Sept. 20.
"I have a big heart for Ripley," Chagnon said, noting his mother had taught there for 33 years. "If I can be half the teacher my mom was, I will be doing really well."
Chagnon said his philosophy of teaching is, "music by doing."
"I hope to give the students a set of skills to take out of Ripley," he said.
Ripley Principal Lauren Ormsby welcomed Chagnon saying he was bringing, "exactly the kind of flexibility we need."
In introducing Armstrong, Ormsby stressed her ethic of, "hard work and determination that is ... representative of what we want in our district and in our teachers."
Armstrong comes to Ripley from the Belfast, N.Y., school district near Olean. Prior to her work in education, she worked for 10 years in the independent living field.
Armstrong said her first impression of Ripley students was there is not a sense of competition among them, but rather the students look out for one another.
"The kids here have so much promise," she said. "They need a little bit of self-acceptance and encouragement. There is a lot of potential here, a lot of challenge, and a lot of positive good that can happen."
The new personnel expressed enthusiasm for their new assignments and a willingness to help the district meet its goals of active engagement of parents, faculty and staff in school initiatives.