After a little over a year at Elmira District Secondary School, principal Peter Rubenschuh is moving on to a new position and vice-principal Mary Anne Richer will be stepping into the role.
Rubenschuh will be filling the newly-created position of assistant to the superintendent for equity and inclusion. Thursday was his last day at EDSS, and he starts his new job on Tuesday.
He has been a secondary school principal for the past six years, and said he’ll miss being involved in the day-to-day affairs of the school, but the new position offers the chance to have a broader impact.
Rubenschuh said the decision to move on was not an easy one to make, but equity and inclusion is an area that he’s passionate about.
“Making schools work for students and staff has been a focus of mine for some time,” he said. “We tell our kids to take risks and challenges every day of the week … How can you not model that?”
Rubenschuh’s fondest memory of EDSS is the Relay for Life last spring; how service-oriented the students are and how supportive the wider community is.
“I would not have thought a community this size could raise $94,000,” he said. “This is very much a community school.”
Richer said her focus as principal will be to foster an environment that embraces change, particularly the changes necessary to create a level playing field for the students.
Working closely with Rubenschuh and his mentorship has prepared her to take on the top job, Richer said.
“Because we worked as such a collaborative team, the transition has been very smooth.”
Carol Telford, now a vice principal at Waterloo Collegiate, will be moving to EDSS as the newest vice principal. Rubenschuh and Richer agreed that she’ll be a good fit for the administrative team.
Now decorated with plants and wall quilts, the principal’s office already shows Richer’s presence. She and her helpers moved her things into the office in a few hours last Saturday, leaving a note for Rubenschuh: “Martha Stewart was here.”