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School has new leader

The Ridgewood School, one of Ohio’s oldest independent non-sectarian day schools, has a new headmistress for the 2012-13 school year.

Anne-Evan K. Williams started with the school in June, replacing Jeanne Kunay, who retired.

“My son is a Ridgewood student so I knew already what a wonderful learning community and what a sense of family Ridgewood school had,” Williams said. “I’m excited for the opportunity to lead such a diverse and energetic group of educators.”

The school also recently received two recognitions for science, technology, engineering and math education — the Governor’s Thomas Edison Award for Excellence in STEM Education went to Ridgewood, and the Ohio Academy of Science and the Technology Division of the Ohio Department of Education honored science teacher Gail Daniels.

Ridgewood is one of 62 middle and high schools to receive the honor while Daniels is one of 356 teachers across the state recognized.

“(Daniels) runs an inquiry-based classroom that means that students are really not only active participants in their learning, but they’re taking responsibility for their learning,” Williams said. “She brings hands-on opportunities to the classroom on a daily basis.”

All staff members at Ridgewood are critical to making the school a success, said Williams.

“They are of the greatest importance,” she said.

The school currently enrolls 88 students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

Williams worked for eight years as a reading specialist and then joined an educational publisher for six years. She moved to Springfield five years ago with her husband, Jeremiah Williams, an assistant professor of physics at Wittenberg University.

“For a long time, Ridgewood has kind of been the hallmark of quality education in Springfield,” she said. “We’d like to continue that tradition and I’d personally like to see enrollment increase a little bit.”

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