By Martha B. Jacob –
Andrew Arn officially took the reigns as principal of St. Michaels School, Ripley, in the middle of the summer this year, replacing Principal Mary Martin who left in July. The catholic school serves 73 students.
“Mary wanted to pursue other options,” Arn said. “I actually applied for the job about four years ago, but didn’t get the job, so I am especially excited about taking over now. I’ve taught here at St. Michael’s since 2002, and this was actually my first teaching job.
“I taught here for five years, then I went to St. Patrick’s School in Maysville for five years where I got some administrative experience as athletic director.”
In 2011, Arn returned to St. Michael’s where he has been since. He taught math, social studies and religion to 5th through 8th grade.
“As principal, I will still be a teacher,” he said, “I teach math to 5th through 8th grade. Our school has students from Georgetown, Ripley, Eastern and North Adams and Winchester.
“Catholic schools have changed through the years, we’re not as rigid as we once were, but many things have stayed the same. We still believe in discipline, no question, discipline in every aspect of their lives, and our discipline is centered around Christian values.”
Arn said that one of the biggest reasons he wanted to be principal at St. Michael’s was because he believes that school choice is important and he believes that since St. Michael’s School is the only Catholic School in Brown County it serves a great purpose.
“I want to take this school to new heights and really make it flourish,” Arn said, “St. Michael’s is really a great school, but I think maybe people are under the impression that we only serve Ripley, and that’s just not so. It’s also not true that a student has to be Catholic to attend St. Michael’s School. All students are welcome here. We are not here to try and convert people, we’re here to offer the best education possible along with teaching good values.”
According to Arn, St. Michael’s operates under the same curriculum as the Archdiocese of Cincinnati Course of Study, loosely based on state standards.
“We don’t have to take all the tests that other schools are forced to take,” Arn added, “Our students take those tests, but we use them more as a tool to help us understand how to make our school better.
“Our kids don’t have that pressure of failing, because we don’t use federal funds, which means we operate under different rules. We operate on tuition revenue and donations, or people leaving money to the church.
“We do however, receive some state funding through scholarships from Ed Choice Expansion.”
St. Michael’s School has six full time teachers, three aides, one part-time intervention specialist and one part-time music, art, computer, librarian and a secretary.
To learn more about St. Michael or to take a tour of the school please call (937) 392-4202.