Sent to Patch by the Ridge Park PTO:
Students at Ridge Park Elementary School can look forward to celebrating a very special birthday this Fall. Ridge Park opened its doors in 1962 and plans are underway for a 50th anniversary celebration including a themed Fall Country Fair “50 Fruitful Years” on October 18th from 6-8 p.m.
“We’re celebrating 50 years of excellence in education and strong traditions,” said Dr. Michael McKenna, principal. “To kick off this school year, we learned that Ridge Park was named a 2012 National Blue Ribbon School. We look forward to sharing this news with past and present Ridge Park community members at the anniversary event.”
Teachers Amy Venkus and Brian Adams are organizing the anniversary event and have received many pictures and stories from past students and teachers through a Facebook group to publicize the occasion.
“The outpouring of stories and photos from past students and teachers has been fantastic. Everyone has fond memories of their years at Ridge Park and are eager to visit the school to see how it has grown over the years and to catch up with old friends,” said Brian Adams, technology teacher.
The country fair will include old-fashioned activities and games including a moon bounce, hayride, pumpkin walk, and bean bag toss, along with refreshments and tours of the school. Ridge Park families, faculty, staff and special guests will receive a commemorative gift marking the 50th Anniversary.
In addition to the country fair, current students will celebrate the occasion with Panther Pride activities during the school day.
“Our students and teachers take great pride in their school and the 50th anniversary will allow students to realize that they are part of a larger community,” said Amy Venkus, music teacher.
The school has evolved and expanded over the years as the population grew. The original school was designed in an open classroom format with sliding walls. Beginning in the 1980’s, the classrooms reverted back to the traditional configuration and have been that way since. In 2004, an addition expanded the school to include six classrooms to accommodate full day kindergarten. This wing also houses music instruction for all students. There are currently 370 students enrolled at Ridge Park and approximately 60 faculty and staff.
The biggest changes over the years have been expansion of the building along with advancements in technology allowing for technology rich learning opportunities. Students are being acquainted with technology beginning in Kindergarten. Ridge Park boasts a morning news program, “Ridge Park Today," bringing televised morning announcements to each classroom. Technology is an important part of the current curriculum with a lab setting that includes both PC’s and iPads.
Additionally, notebook computers allow for portability from classroom to classroom. This year, a state of the art sound system has been installed in the gymnasium to enhance assemblies, author visits, physical education, presentations and programs. The new system also integrates with current technology.
“Ridge Park has grown tremendously over the past 50 years and we look forward to helping students face the challenges of the next 50 years as we move forward in the 21st Century,” said Dr. McKenna.
6:00pm Then and Now Video 2/3 minutes
6:05pm Students Performing 8/9 minutes
Ridge Park School Song
6:15pm Speakers (Former Principals/Teachers)
Amy Venkus – welcome, intro of Dr. Gorodetzer
Dr. MaryEllen Gorodetzer, Superintendent / Former Principal
Al Erb, Former Principal
Bill Wilson, Former Principal
John Canterbury, Former Principal
Mrs. Elaine Friedman, Former Teacher
Dr. Jim Capolupo, Former Principal
Tom Sigafoos, Former Principal
Jason Bacani, Former Principal
Dr. Mike McKenna, Current Principal
-will recognize proclamation from Senator Leach
-will recognize plaque from township
(Each speaker allotted 3/4 minutes)
6:45pm Birthday Video
6:50pm Country Fair
Booths in each grade level wing
Food items in cafeteria
Classrooms open to tour
Gym open for mingling / reunion time
8:00pm Closing (over loudspeaker)