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Lincoln-Sudbury principal to retire

Posted by David Dahl, Regional Editor October 28, 2008 06:02 PM

John Ritchie, principal and superintendent of Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School, announced Tuesday he will retire from his post at the end of the school year.

In an e-mail to town administrators in Lincoln and Sudbury, Ritchie explained that by June he would reach the maximum point in the retirement system and he felt it was a natural time to move on. He informed faculty and staff of his decision Tuesday and told the School Committee during a closed session two weeks ago so that they could begin the search process for his replacement.

"We understand why he is leaving, and we appreciate why he is leaving, but we are certainly very sad to see him go," said Jack Ryan, a member of the Lincoln-Sudbury Regional School Committee.

Ritchie began working at Lincoln-Sudbury in 1996 and served through a near doubling of the school's enrollment and the construction of a brand new, state-of-the-art facility that opened in 2004.

During Ritchie's tenure, a student was charged with murder in the fatal stabbing of another student at the school in January 2007. "I think he handled that situation extremely well," Ryan said. "He understood the emotional needs of the students, the L-S community, and the community as a whole during what was a very difficult time."

Ritchie was also credited by parents, staff, and students for the way he responded to heavy student drinking at a home football game this fall. Administrators required students to be accompanied by a parent or other responsible adult to gain admission to the next home game.

Ritchie is the longest serving principal/superintendent in the high school's history, Ryan said.

"I just think he has been an incredible asset to the school," he said.

-- John M. Guilfoil

4 comments so far...
  1. I contacted John Ritchie after reading his editorial about the graduating student in the "15th row." As a parent of that type of student (not in the Lincoln Sudbury system), I was truly touched by John's sensitivity and insight. I was impressed that he chose to participate in a continuing email conversation with me and felt the short contact we had was far more meaningful than conversations I had within my public school community. I wish him all the best for whatever the future holds.

    Posted by Missy Goldberg October 28, 08 07:25 PM
  1. I was a student at LS when Dr. Ritchie first came to LS. He instantly and easily earned the respect of the students with his wit, well-reasoned approach to difficult situations, and his willingness to pick up a guitar and sing a song to the senior class!

    More recently, I thought his handling of the drinking issue was brilliant. I hope more schools adopt his common sense approach.

    Thanks for your service, Dr. Richie.

    Posted by CDS October 28, 08 10:13 PM
  1. As a former L-S student, Dr. Ritchie is an amazing man. He is very wise and insightful, and applies his laid back yet effective approach very well in the academic environment. It is sad to see him go.

    It is unfortunate to note that, over the past several years, it seems like the number of things that make L-S a "different kind of place" is decreasing at a frightening rate. As L-S greats such as Schechter, Ritchie, Bill Plott etc. retire, they leave a large hole that should be filled with like-minded, progressive, brilliant teachers that have something of significance to share with today's youth. I only hope people like this still exist and can fill such a gap.

    Peace and Love.

    Pea

    Posted by Michael October 29, 08 03:54 PM
  1. As an L-S parent of Class '07, I have to say that the school under Dr. Ritchie's leadership prepares its students extremely well for college, both academically and socially. I did have my reservations in the school's far-left ideological teaching in certain courses, but that's another story.
    My best wishes to Dr. Ritchie on the news.
    Go Obama!

    Posted by S of Sudbury October 30, 08 10:12 AM
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