TOWSON — The chocolate candy container in Ed Bennett’s Ridge Ruxton School office had just a few pieces left.
Books were packed up. A keepsake photo collage given to Bennett by staff members was propped in one corner. These were tell-tale signs: After 17 years as Ridge Ruxton School’s principal and 35 years with Baltimore County Public Schools, Bennett is retiring effective July 1. Missy Beltran, the new principal, will be moving into his office.
So the final weeks of June were spent gathering belongings, saying goodbyes, and making sure Ridge Ruxton would be ready for their next leader.
Ridge Ruxton provides diversified educational programs and services to improve achievement and meet the unique learning requirements of each student with special education needs.
Students begin at Ridge Ruxton at as young as 3 years of age. At this year’s graduation ceremony, Bennett was saying farewell to students who started roughly at the same time he came on board as principal.
“I guess I am, in a way, part of that Class of 2017 too,” Bennett said.
Bennett’s 42-year career included 35 years at BCPS. He started as a classroom teacher at Dundalk High before moving to Owings Mills High in the same capacity. He spent nine years at Maiden Choice School, including seven as principal.
He has spent the last 17 years as Ridge Ruxton School’s principal, where he has watched students improve communication skills, develop life skills, and flourish with the help of dedicated staff and many community partners.
“I think that when visitors come through they find this is an inviting school, a welcoming school,” Bennett said. “It’s a place where children go to learn and feel safe.”
Even when he was on vacation, Bennett always had a cell phone at the ready, in case anyone needed assistance. But those days are gone now.
The next time he visits the beach, or attends a Baltimore Orioles game, he can simply relax.
“Instead of quality time with my family, it will be quality and quantiy time with my family,” he said. “I’ll be able to put the cell phone down.”
Bennett said he is leaving on a high note. This was a terrific year at Ridge Ruxton in so many ways. The Ridge Ruxton School Twitter account captured many highlights, which includes many community partnerships.
The good news? Those partnerships will continue benefiting Ridge Ruxton School students.
Best wishes to Mr. Bennett and all our Team BCPS retirees!