Michael takes Ripley Middle School reins –
By Mark Carpenter –
For the second time in the month of June, an administrator from the Manchester Local School District is taking the route west for an administrative job in Ripley. On top of that, a third Manchester employee also will be filling a third administrative opening in Ripley.
Approved last week were the hirings of Manchester High School Assistant Principal Chris Young as the new Ripley High School Principal and MLSD teacher Jerod Michael will be taking over as the new Ripley Middle School Principal.
For Young,who spent the last three years as the MHS Assistant Principal and Athletic Director, the job of being a building principal fulfills a lifelong career goal and he can now share stories with his wife Marla, who is the Assistant High School Principal at North Adams.
“Being a building principal has always been a career goal of mine, but I wanted to stay close to the area,” Young told the Defender. “The Ripley job interested me because it would allow me that opportunity for a fresh change in my career. There were nine candidates interviewed for the high school and middle school openings there and I immediately felt a connection with the teaches and staff on the interview committee and I believe we share a lot of the same goals.”
Young has worked as Assistant Principal at MHS under Principal Jamie Wilkins and says that Wilkins recently accepting the job as Ripley superintendent helped make his decision a bit easier.
“Jamie and I have always discussed our personal career goals with one another and hoped that someday we would meet up again,” says Young. “I just didn’t realize it would be so soon. Having one of my main support people there while going into a new position definitely played a factor. We share the same goals and will continue to work collaboratively along with the Ripley staffs.”
Much like Manchester, the Ripley district has experienced some recent turnover, obviously in the administrative positions, and Young is ready to face the challenges of a new district.
“Right now an immediate goal is to make our school an enjoyable place for our students and staff,” said Young. “We want to establish some continuity within our building to achieve that. I want to get to know the community and help create and maintain an atmosphere that will reflect their expectations.”
When looking back over his six years at Manchester, Young takes great pride in the strides the district made both in his academic watch and his time as Athletic Director.
“I’ve been very fortunate these past six years,” he says. “I’ve worked with excellent teachers on both the high school and elementary school staffs. I have seen our sports teams be successful and been part of the construction of the Manchester Athletic Complex, but what I am most proud of are the students I encountered at Manchester along the way. No matter what successes I’ve witnessed and been a part of, nothing compares to announcing their names on graduation day and watching them receive their diploma.”
“I’m leaving with some great experience and memories and will always be grateful to the Manchester Board of Education, staff, students, and community.”
For Michael, the Ripley job will be his first administrative job after seven years as the seventh and eighth grade Science teacher at Manchester.
“I have been interested in getting into administration as the career path I thought I might take,” said the new Ripley Middle School principal. “It just so happened that the job came open and I live in Aberdeen and I thought the middle school was a great fit for me. I won’t have to travel very far.”
“I kind of threw my hat in the ring, they called me back and said ‘Hey, we want you.’ I went through the interview process, they asked me some questions, and must have liked my answers.”
“The demographics at Manchester are very similar to those at Ripley,” Michael continues. “I know the type of kids that we will be reaching out too. The experience I had at Manchester was phenomenal and I wouldn’t change that for the world. The kids were great and it really was a super-hard decision to leave them but I fell like I left them in a good spot.”
“I want to take the high expectations and traditions we had at Manchester and put them towards Ripley so they can excel.”