Longtime elementary educator bids farewell

Veeder Elementary third grade teacher Barbara Ripps
Veeder Elementary third grade teacher Barbara Ripps as she completes her last observation in the South Colonie CSD after 37 years of service.

At the completion of the 2020-21 school year, Veeder Elementary third grade teacher Barbara Ripps will be stepping away from teaching after 37 years in the South Colonie CSD. During COVID-19, she has demonstrated true resilience as the district shifted to remote learning and she found new ways to increase engagement with her students, while adjusting to the re-opening of school and the guidelines put in place for today’s classroom.

As part of that process, she took on the new challenge of teaching students virtually, acquiring new technology skills, navigating the creation of a Google Classroom and scheduling Google Meets for her students and parents. She refers to her third grade class as the “Fabulous 15” and has found comfort and a sense of achievement in this new way of teaching.  

Her experience regarding her career says it all, “Even though I will miss the physical act of teaching, I will use these skills in other areas of my life, which is a gift itself” said Ms. Ripps. “Thank you South Colonie for helping to mold me into the woman I am today.”

After teaching in the South Colonie School District for over three decades, Mrs. Ripps feels it is time for her to enter the next phase of her life.  She was hired in 1984 as a reading teacher at Shaker Road Elementary and then switched to teaching first grade for the next 24 years, both at Shaker Road and Veeder Elementary.  When asked to teach third grade, Mrs. Ripps welcomed the opportunity to teach a different grade level and wanted to challenge herself with a new curriculum.  

“Mrs. Ripps has told me on numerous occasions how much she has valued the mentors who had supported her within her early teaching career,” said Veeder Elementary Principal Ms. Sullivan. “She will remember all of the students and Colonie families with whom she has worked with over the years and feels forever grateful for the opportunity to have been in a profession, and a district, that she has both loved.”