Superintendent’s Spotlight: Michael Ross


Superintendent’s Spotlight: Michael Ross

September 30, 2022

Each week, Warwick Valley Central School District Superintendent Dr. David Leach shines the Superintendent’s Spotlight on one of Warwick Valley’s amazing students. Superintendent’s Spotlights feature students who reach goals, face challenges, and are role models to their peers.

When the time came to nominate WVMS students to serve as 2022 Wildcat Ambassadors for this year’s incoming fifth graders (and their parents), sixth grader Michael Ross was at the top of a few teachers’ lists! So, fresh off his own three-time honor roll year in fifth grade – and never one to shy away from a challenge – Michael jumped at the chance to share his experiences with some of his newest peers.

“Mind you, Michael has only been in the building for a year, and here he was giving tours to families and really selling Warwick,” said WVMS Principal Georgianna Diopoulos. “I got so many compliments about ‘the boy with the shaggy hair,’ and how polite and helpful and kind he was. So, we thought, what a great way to honor him for that.”

Michael’s role as a Wildcat Ambassador began with new student orientation, where he was happy to pay forward the kindness he received on his first day at WVMS.

“I met a kid named Leo who helped me with everything… especially the buses. He was very kind, very nice,” said Michael. “There’s a lot going on on your first day. The buses can feel confusing, there’s people all over, and you’re like, ‘Oh, my God, everyone here is over six feet tall!’”

To help the incoming fifth graders feel welcomed and comfortable in their new, and suddenly much larger, world Michael gave them the inside scoop on buses, building entrances and exits, hallways and lockers, the cafeteria, offices, and their classrooms. And he did much of the same for parents during Meet the Teachers Night, especially helping calm anxious minds.

“I told them the middle school teachers are very nice and kind, the principals and all the staff are super nice, and they help out a lot,” said Michael, adding with a smile, “to be honest, I’m going to say the parents are actually more nervous than the kids.”

Having gotten others off to an exciting start of the school year, Michael says his own is “going amazing!” He’s feeling engaged and engrossed in his classes all the time. His interests lie in STEM topics, and his favorite among them is math. It has been since the second grade, when he first realized he could handle more advanced math problems and had a knack for numbers.

“I’ve always thought it was fun working with numbers, finding and figuring out problems,” said Michael. “That’s why I want to be an engineer – working on things, problem solving, it’s very fun to me.”

Michael said he has also become interested in further developing his leadership skills and finding more ways to get involved with helping others. He shared some words of inspiration and encouragement his mom recently gave him: It’s hard to be good at being a leader; it’s really hard to be great at it.

“I like taking the role of leadership and having that responsibility,” he said. “I like feeling like a leader and I love helping people.”

He added his own words of wisdom for kids just beginning their middle school careers (or anyone, really): Always challenge yourself, no matter how hard it is, because, in the long run, it’s going to help you very much.

Principal Diopoulos said she has seen Michael walk the walk that goes with that talk many times since he first came to the building last September, and is proud of the reputation he has earned as a thoughtful and helpful communicator and role model.

“Being a great leader is a challenge,” said Principal Diopoulos. “Michael is ready for the challenge.”




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