Superintendent Bill Draa has built up fond memories of these past couple years at Ripon Unified.
“I had a wonderful time,” he said at last week’s school board meeting. “I truly enjoyed working and being part of this school district and the community.”
Draa will finish out the month before bidding adieu. A going away gathering in his honor is in the works at the district office, according to new Superintendent Siegrid “Ziggy” Robeson.
One of his big accomplishments was that of the Weston Elementary School remodeling. During the planning stages, Louise Johnson, who was the then superintendent, left RUSD, in part, for family reasons.
The school reopened this past week. Draa was there for the ribbon-cutting ceremony signaling the reopening of Weston.
He initially retired from the Banta School District – he helped oversee the River Island campus project formerly River Island Academy and the current Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics school. He was recommended by the San Joaquin County Office of Education to step in on an interim basis to serve as the RUSD top administrator.
Draa agreed to stay on for two years, having “interim” removed from his job title.
He jokingly said that he hoped to join Ed Tagliabue in spending more time on the water fishing.
After 13 years, Tagliabue — the district’s Maintenance / Operations / Transportation supervisor — was “bitter sweet” upon acceptance of his retirement.
His last day is Sept. 30.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the district personnel and citizens of Ripon who supported me through these budget crisis years,” said Tagliabue in his letter of resignation.
He added: “I will be happy to assist my replacement, in any way possible, to assure a smooth transition.”
The board, in addition, accepted the resignation of Irene Ness, who served as a Learning Center Instructional Assistant at Colony Oak Elementary School.
She’s moving over to the Independence Charter School in Salida. Ness will intern at her first teaching position.
“I’m so thankful for the experience that my time with RUSD,” Ness said in her letter. “Everyone within the district has always been so helpful and encouraging on my journey to this next step.”