Cynthia Ipsaro To Retire as IPS Principal
At the end of the 2018-19 school year, Cynthia Ipsaro will be retiring as the Independence Primary School principal after 25 years of service with the district. The Independence Local Schools Board of Education hired Ipsaro in August 1994 as a second-grade teacher. She taught second grade for nine years and then moved on to teach fourth grade. She assumed the role of principal of Independence Primary School in the 2011-12 school year.
From a focus on academics, student life and technology to the social/emotional well-being of all primary school students and incredible partnerships with parents, civic and community organizations, Ipsaro has truly made a difference in the seven years she has been an administrator.
One of the most impactful programs she helped implement was the school-wide IPride character program. This behavior management program is based on positive behavior intervention supports. It teaches social competencies and develops a safe and effective school environment, based on rewarding positive behaviors while preventing problem behaviors. Since the program began, there has been a noticeable decrease in the number of reported discipline issues.
Ipsaro also always has been passionate about wanting to offer so much more to students than just the academic learning that goes on during the school day. She always advocates for students finding interests outside of the classroom, especially so they are prepared for middle school and have the opportunity to participate in positive activities. In the seven years Ipsaro has been principal, the building has seen the introduction of the Art Club, Build Your Own Technology (BYOT) Club, IPS Choir, Drama Club, Medical Club, Robotics Club and the reinstatement of the Kiwanis K-Kids. Many of these were with the strong support of the IPS PTO.
Developing a strong working relationship with the PTO is something Ipsaro also always strives for in her building. She says she is fortunate to work with such a dedicated PTO executive board and members who work tirelessly to raise thousands of dollars for many important projects. Together with the PTO, the building was able to implement major upgrades to the playground area behind the building. Also, thanks to the PTO, Ipsaro was able to start purchasing alternate seating and standing desks for students. She has seen an increase in students’ concentration and academics in the classrooms that are using these seats and desks. With the success of this year’s first PTO Casino night, along with many other fundraisers, Ipsaro is able to purchase flexible furniture for classrooms and work towards turning the media center into a collaborative learning space. The assembly speaker system for the gym and cafeteria also has been upgraded.
Independence Primary School also values the partnerships with local community organizations like the Independence Garden Club, Kiwanis Club, Cuyahoga County Public Library Independence branch, 25 & Alive, and so many others. Ipsaro and her staff’s relationships with the police and fire departments, Mayor’s office, city officials and local businesses also have been vital to the overall outstanding experience and education of the students.
In Ipsaro’s time as leader of IPS, the building saw many technological improvements and enhancements such as 1:1 learning with iPads and Chromebooks, creation of a makerspace with 3D printer, digital textbooks, and the use of Google Suites.
Ipsaro and her staff have always made sure they address all of the tested curriculum areas and she is leaving the building with the Overall A Award from Ohio’s State Board of Education they received in 2018. As an Overall A Award winner, the building’s report card shows high academic performance and the building of bright futures for students of every background and ability level. In the 2016-17 school year, the building received the Step up to Quality 5-Star Award for its preschool from Ohio’s State Board of Education. In her first year as principal, the school was recognized for the second time in its history as a Nationally Recognized Blue Ribbon School of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education. Ipsaro was on the committee of educators who wrote the submission to the state and enjoyed representing the school in Columbus for the recognition ceremony.
“My hope is that I provided a high-quality experience for all students and that I have touched the students’ lives in a positive way to make each and every one of them a better person,” said Ipsaro. “I consider myself extremely fortunate to have served as both a teacher and principal in such a vibrant and supportive community; a community where education is valued by students, teachers and parents. I want to thank all of you for your support and most of all for entrusting your children in my hands. I am confident that Independence Primary School will continue its tradition of academic excellence in the years to come.”
“Mrs. Ipsaro has made such a positive impact on Independence Primary School and our Independence community as a whole,” said Superintendent Ben Hegedish, Independence Local Schools. “Her dedication and years of service in the classroom made her a natural fit as our principal. Mrs. Ipsaro has been such a positive leader. Her smile, dedication, and positive attitude will be missed. I wish her the best in this next chapter of life!”