Ridgway, Superintendent Susan Lacy

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Ridgway School District R-2
1115 W. Clinton St.
Ridgway, CO 81432
(970) 626-4320 - FAX: (970)626-4337



Welcome to the Ridgway School District,


The Ridgway School District’s motto is “We aspire to inspire.”  Together as a team we all take responsibility for making our school district the best it can be.  We seek to connect learning to the authentic challenges of our changing world. The district’s extensive K-12 experiential outdoor education program is one of the distinct ways in which the Ridgway School District faculty work to develop the tools of collaborative teamwork, resiliency and critical and creative thinking necessary for success as a student and as an adult.


The Ridgway School District has built a reputation for exemplary PreK-12 programs and high student academic achievement.  In most recent years they have been honored with state accolades including the Colorado John Irwin Award for Excellence, the Governor’s Award of Growth, and been Accredited with Distinction.  What sets the Ridgway School district apart is the excellence of our faculty and staff and the enthusiasm and commitment of our students, families, school board and greater community.  We work together for continuous improvement and attention to academic rigor within a welcoming school climate that supports the social and emotional needs of all children.


It takes a hard-working, compassionate team to meet the complex challenges of education in the 21st century.  The Ridgway School district community cares deeply about inspiring and preparing all our students for success. Together we forge forward towards the RSD vision to inspire and educate young people for success in a changing world.


With best wishes,

               Susan Lacy

               Ridgway School District Superintendent


Superintendent Biography

Over my twenty eight years in education within Colorado, New York and internationally, I have taught grades 5-12 and served as both a secondary and middle school principal.  I began my teaching career as a middle school humanities teacher when my husband and ten-day old son arrived at a unique junior boarding school for children ages nine through fourteen within the mountain setting of Lake Placid, NY.  While I taught classes and extracurricular activities during the day, I served as a house parent to ten children during the evening. From the start of my career, I learned the significance of the partnership between school and home and the importance of educating the whole child.  Integrating a knowledge of the social and emotional developmental needs of our young people assures we build the strong foundation necessary for academic growth and success.

Shortly after the birth of my second son, we moved to Colorado where I continued my teaching career within a dynamic independent school near Denver in which the integration of experiential, outdoor learning was woven into the fabric of academic learning.  Upon the purchase of land above the Ouray-Ridgway valley in the early 1990s, my husband and I then balanced teaching at international American schools within Mexico, Romania and Indonesia, with our summer adventures in Ouray county camped on our property.

In 2001 my family returned home to Ouray county full time and my husband and I taught within the Ridgway School District.  At that time, I also pursued further graduate studies at the University of Denver to complete my principal’s license. I became the Ridgway secondary principal in 2003 and was honored to be a part of the Project Oversight Committee that led the design and building process of the new Ridgway Secondary School that opened in the fall of 2006.  

After both of my sons graduated from Ridgway high school, the opportunity to work at the American Embassy school in Zambia in southern Africa presented itself.  Lured by the adventure of working in education during the week and camping on safaris during the weekends, my husband and I returned internationally during the school year.  From 2008-2016, I coordinated a 6-12 global issues program, taught within the International Baccalaureate (IB) program and also served as the middle school principal when we moved to Dhaka, Bangladesh.  

While I have been fortunate to have traveled the world as an international educator, I believe there is no place more beautiful nor a community more engaged and caring, than that of my hometown of Ridgway.   Throughout my years working in education and community service within Ouray county, I have been inspired by the deep commitment of a diverse team of stakeholders to make a positive difference in the lives of our community’s children.  In 2017 I worked as an educational consultant within the Ridgway school district while concurrently enrolled in the University of Colorado Denver’s Executive Leadership Program (ALPS) superintendent licensure program. I was honored to be selected in the spring of 2018 to serve as RSD’s next superintendent. Together with the board, staff, students and greater community, I am now working towards strengthening programs across the district and taking an already strong district to the next level.

August 14, 2018

Dear Ridgway Schools parents and students,

The start of the school year is just around the corner. As your new superintendent, I am especially enthusiastic about the start of this new school year. I cannot wait to meet you all and welcome you back to school on Monday, August 27th.

Registration documents are ready online and both the elementary and secondary school offices are open from 7:45 am-3:45 pm, M-F for any questions or support you may need. Our district team including maintenance, transportation, the business office and technology have been hard at work throughout the summer and we are grateful for all they have done to make sure our schools are ready for our Monday, August 27th start date.

We are excited to welcome a number of new faculty and staff to our team for the 2018-2019 school year. Specifically, our new colleagues are: Stacey Lehman (1st grade), Jennifer Nelson (RES/RSS Spanish, EL), Katie Tryboski (K-12 Mental Health Counselor), Kelly Sampson (Preschool Teacher Assistant), Sean Hart (RES/RSS Technology), Brian Nelson (RSS Science), Tony Erickson (Athletic Director) and Adam Truitt (Academic Guidance Counselor RSS). We also have a few returning staff entering new positions: Jessica Houser (RES Nurse Aide/Paraprofessional), Mike Cassidy (4th grade) and Michelle Blanton (RSS Special Education Teacher). Our district office manager, Autumn Bailey, will highlight our newest community members over the next months on our online Chalkboard newsletter.

Although I am new in my role as superintendent, I return to the Ridgway School District family after a number of years working overseas in Dhaka, Bangladesh and Lusaka, Zambia. When I was last employed by the Ridgway School District, I was the Ridgway Secondary Principal and had the privilege of opening the new Ridgway Secondary School building in September of 2006. Both of my sons are graduates of Ridgway High School. It is wonderful to be back again and to see all the amazing things that have developed over the last decade and it is an honor to serve my community within this new role.

As I start my first year as superintendent of Ridgway Schools, I want to thank newly retired superintendent Steve Smith for his four years of service to the Ridgway school district and his hard work in partnership with our wonderful school board. Steve has provided me with indispensable support through the transition and continues to be a valuable resource for me. If you see Steve out in the community enjoying his retirement, be sure to thank him for his tremendous efforts on behalf of all of our students and staff. He has left a legacy of excellence and improvement that I aspire, with your help, to continue.

I look forward to meeting each of you in the months ahead. It takes a hard-working, compassionate team to meet the complex challenges of education in the 21st century. The triad partnership of school, student and home is at the heart of that teamwork. Please feel free to stop by my office any time. The strength of a small town is that we know and support each other and continue to build a happy, healthy community in which our children can grow, learn and flourish.

With best wishes for a wonderful school year ahead,

Susan (Mrs. Lacy)

Read more: Ouray County Plaindealer - Lacy appointed superintendent of Ridgway School District