The Duncan Banner
MARLOW — When the bell rang, signifying the beginning of a new school day and a new school year Thursday, the hallways were empty and quiet. To Marlow Middle School Principal Ross Ridge, it was almost difficult to tell students had returned.
Ridge said the lack of noise or people in the hallways is an example of the teachers and students at the middle school.
“It’s a good working atmosphere,” Ridge said. “It shows with the kids, too. We are all here for their benefit. Everybody wants to do what’s best for the kids.”
This is Ridge’s 18th year as an administrator, although the majority of those years were done in other school districts. He spent six of his seven years at Central High as principal, and 10 years as elementary principal in Sterling. Ridge has also coached and taught at Stonewall and Bray-Doyle school districts. Overall, he has 25 years of experience in education.
Ridge said he is looking forward to being an administrator for Marlow Public Schools because he knows he has a great faculty and staff at the middle school. He said the closeness of the community also helps to make the second largest school in Stephens County more accessible.
“You get to know all the kids, all the parents,” Ridge said. “It’s a 3A school, but it has a small school mentality. You get to see all the teachers at ball games, supporting their students.”
He said the care for Marlow Middle School and its students goes beyond the school walls. He said there are many parents who are involved in various aspects of the school because they want to see the students and the school succeed.
“They’re proud of Marlow,” Ridge said.
Although a new school year has started, Ridge said things are running smoothly. He attributes this to the teachers and the work the school did to prepare students for the beginning of school.
Among these were orientations for this year’s sixth-graders. At the end of the 2012-13 school year, those students were taken over to the middle school so they could get familiar with the building.
But in the days before the first day of school, sixth-grade students and their parents were also invited to an orientation to allow sixth-graders to find their classes, use their lockers and meet their teachers.
Pre-enrollment also took place before the start of school to reduce the number of students needing to enroll on the first day of school.
“It cuts out 80 percent of the work,” Ridge said.
Ridge said the start of the school year went smoothly, and he expects it to be the same throughout the school year. He said there will be an aim to improve test scores and to continue in a positive direction in all aspects of Marlow Middle School.
“We’re going to continue the programs we have,” Ridge said. “We’ll make sure we have our curriculum in line. We’re all on the same page.”