Ridgway principal leaves behind legacy

by Carolina Brown

After four years of implementing changes at Ridgway Secondary School, Principal Jeremy Voytko is leaving the Western Slope, answering the call of the big city.
Under Voytko’s leadership many new advanced placement classes began to be offered at the high school and teachers were trained to teach those classes. The outdoor education program was revitalized, and according to school board members and the superintendent, the staff became top-notch.
“He galvanized that staff over the last few years,” president of the School Board, Greg Lawler said of Voytko. “We had a lot of turnover and a lot of issues with staff, but they have really come together in the last few years. Of all his accomplishments, that’s the biggest one for me.”
Voytko has been personally involved in recruiting about half of the staff currently at the school. Superintendent Susan Lacy echoed Lawler’s thoughts on staffing. She described Voytko as easy to work with and “just a nice guy, a nice human being.”
Students describe Voytko as “personable” and more active and involved with the students than some other principals they had experienced. They said he is “fun to talk to” and “a really good guy” who knows the students’ interests and stops them in the hall to engage them in conversations about those interest.
“People get, like a lot of chances and some people have expressed that its really helped them out a lot, and they are really lucky for it,” one senior said of Voytko’s efforts to carry out a less punitive approach to discipline.

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