Superintendent appoints new program administrator

Superintendent of Schools Bill McKerise announced the appointment of Rosemarie (Roe) Ampha as Greenwich Alternative High School’s (GAHS) Program Administrator, effective July 1, 2015. Ampha will be filling the position vacant due to current GAHS Program Associate Barbara Varanelli’s announcement today to retire, effective July 1, 2015.

Roe Ampha has been with the Greenwich Public Schools at Greenwich High School (GHS) since 2004. She began at GHS as a Special Education teacher, and became the Program Administrator for Special Education at GHS in 2010. In this role, she supervised the program that supports secondary students with disabilities in a variety of settings through a continuum of services. She has guided the program through an expansion of options for students and worked closely with staff from the Comprehensive Support Program (CSP) to refine the positive behavior system. She has also guided a shift in instructional practices to a more hands-on approach using Universal Design for Learning.

Director of Pupil Personnel Services Mary Forde said, “Roe impressed the interview panel with her knowledge of Special Education and her vision for developing an integrated alternative high school program with increased options for a wider range of students. She looks forward to promoting a program that capitalizes on the strengths of the students enrolled and the faculty at GAHS.”

Barbara Varanelli began her career in education almost twenty years ago as a Social Worker for Arch School, an alternative high school program for the Greenwich Public Schools. Ms. Varanelli has overseen numerous moves to new sites and played an active role in the evolution of the program from a small ‘one room school house’ to an integrated alternative setting for both general and special education students. Recently retired Program Coordinator Sharon Turshen said, “Barbara has the unique capacity to see the best in every student and the eternal optimism to believe that each young person is one step away from a bright future. She leaves a program that has benefitted from her experience and expertise, but more importantly, she leaves a community blessed by her compassion.”

Bio Brief: Rosemarie (Roe) Ampha

As a Special Education teacher, Roe Ampha taught at Greenwich High School from 2004 to 2010. In 2010, she became the Program Administrator for Special Education at GHS. As Program Administrator, she created systems to ensure consistency in educational best practices across Resource Rooms, initiated Special Education forums for parents, and developed a community-based transition program for 18-21 year old students.

Ampha received B.S. in Elementary Education from State University of New York (SUNY) in Oswego, NY in 2002; a M.S. in Childhood Special Education from Hunter College, NY, NY in 2004; and a M.S. in Curriculum Development and Instructional Technology from SUNY in Albany, NY in 2005.

Bio Brief: Barbara Varanelli

After ten years as a Social Worker for Greenwich Hospital, Barbara Varanelli transitioned to educator with the Greenwich Public Schools’ alternative high school program – Arch School. After five years as a Social Worker at Arch School, she became the Program Associate overseeing the operations of the program. As the program leader, Ms. Varanelli has overseen multiple site transitions, developed curricular and transition programs designed to address the unique needs of the student population, and supervised the initial integration of the Arch School and Community Learning Program.

Varanelli received a Bachelors in Social Work from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO in 1978, a Masters in Social Work from Denver University, Denver, CO in 1981, and a Masters in School Building Leadership from Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, NY in 2007

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