RIDGWAY – Trish Greenwood is returning to work at the Ridgway Elementary School, 24 years after her first assignment there as a 6th-grade teacher in 1989.
Now she is coming back as the school’s new principal.
That year (1989), Greenwood commuted from Telluride to teach in Ridgway. The following year, a job opened up in the Telluride Elementary School, and she took that position, which led to a 23-year career path from teacher to assistant principal to principal (since 2007) at TES.
The move back to Ridgway, to be with her new spouse, Jim Nowak, coincided serendipitously with the departure of RES principal Ted Donahue. (Donahue experienced a bit of serendipity himself, when he landed a job in the Montrose School District, closer to home and his wife’s teaching job.)
In a press release last week, Ridgway Schools Superintendent Cheryl Gomez announced her recommendation, and the board’s acceptance, of Greenwood’s hiring. “Ms. Greenwood started her teaching career in Ridgway School District in 1989,” Gomez wrote. “Her experiences as an educator include elementary teacher, middle school teacher and mentor, and an international assignment. She has instructional leadership in the areas of preschool, literacy, gender equity, curriculum mapping and recent experience with the new teacher evaluation tool. The District is looking forward to her return.”
Gomez’s recommendation was based on the results sent to her by a hiring committee made up of 17 people “representing a vast array of stakeholders.
“Prior to the interview process, selected elementary staff members screened application packets, reviewed interview questions and all met to provide input of what they felt were important qualities that they seek in their new leader. The information gathered was useful in the selection of the final candidate. Ten resumes/application packets were received during the posting, with candidates from Colorado, Texas and Illinois,” the release said.
“It’s hard to say goodbye,” Greenwood told The Watch from her office in Telluride. (She expects to move into her new office in Ridgway some time in late July or early August.) “I had a great staff here. But I’m excited. Ridgway is a great community. Everybody’s so proud of their school.
“I’ve observed in the classrooms. Ridgway’s in good shape. I think I bring some skills with me, and we’ll move ahead together.”
Greenwood added a personal coda to Gomez’ press release: “The gem of being a principal is not much different than that of a teacher. It is the daily interaction with young children that humor, inspire, and motivate me.”