Changes afoot at county schools

Along with its summer-break renovation of energy-related infrastructure at the elementary and high school, Rappahannock County Public Schools will also sport a new array of administrators when school resumes in about a month.

The faces are not really new, though, but reshuffled. As of July 1, director of school administration Michael Tupper is the new high school principal, replacing Robert “Rowdy” Stump, who has taken over Tupper’s division-level duties. Amy Gubler, assistant principal at the elementary school, is now the assistant principal at the Rappahannock County High School (RCHS); she and former RCHS assistant principal Andy Hipple have also swapped jobs.

“The administrative reassignments were made to better serve the staff, the school community and especially the children of our school division,” said superintendent Aldridge Boone in a recent prepared statement. “I also took the administrator’s career goals and objectives and the subsequent opportunities for career broadening into consideration when deciding individual assignments.”

Cathy Jones remains principal of the elementary school, and Carol Johnson remains in a somwhat  redefined position as the school division’s director of instruction and exceptional education.

“Being a small school division,” Boone said, “we all wear many different hats and we have worked very hard to provide each other with the tools and skills to work effectively as interchangeable parts of a whole as the need arises. I appreciate the support of the staff and community in making this transition as smooth as possible.”

Meanwhile, Boone expects the ongoing energy-systems renovations – window and heating/air-conditioning system upgrades and replacements – at both schools to be completed by the beginning of the fall school year; the school board will hear the latest update at its next regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 14 at the high school.

Deputy Robbie Fincham, one of two Rappahannock County Sheriff’s Officers assigned to the county’s schools this fall, finished his DARE instructor training earlier this month in Ashburn.
Deputy Robbie Fincham, one of two Rappahannock County Sheriff’s Officers assigned to the county’s schools this fall, finished his DARE instructor training earlier this month in Ashburn.

Deputy Robert L. Fincham, meanwhile, who graduated July 20 from a two-week course at the Virginia DARE Training Center in Ashburn, will join Deputy Gary Jenkins on RCPS school resource officer duty in the fall, according to Sheriff Connie C. Smith. Fincham will teach the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program at the elementary school.

“Robbie says that this class was the highlight of his career,” said Smith. “As part of the training he had to go into a classroom and teach summer school children. Robbie said that he thoroughly loved it,” Smith said of her deputy – who was one of the first students in the DARE program in Rappahannock when Capt. Jeff Brown started it in 1990. “I think Robbie will do a good job.”

Both Fincham and Jenkins are also the department’s designated animal control officers, and will be dispatched on animal-related calls directly from their school duties, Smith said. Part-time deputy Jack Sharp, who was one of the county’s two full-time animal control officers until the positions were made part of the sheriff’s office staff last year, will also be on call to help with animal calls, she said.

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Roger Piantadosi
About Roger Piantadosi 534 Articles
Former Rappahannock News editor Roger Piantadosi is a writer and works on web and video projects for Rappahannock Media and his own Synergist Media company. Before joining the News in 2009, he was a staff writer, editor and web developer at The Washington Post for almost 30 years.