Ridgway Area Middle/High School

Mr. Tom Podpora

Shawn Hofmann
Assistant Principal/Athletics Director

Where Students Will Discover Their Purpose for Today and Their Passion for Tomorrow

Welcome to Ridgway Area Middle & High School, home of the Elkers! We serve about 500 students in sixth through twelfth grades, preparing young adults for future successes in college, careers, and beyond.

Please take some time to get to know our school and our staff members. We have a wide variety of clubs and athletics programs available to our students, and we take pride in preparing our graduates for life after high school. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

A Message from Our Principal

Dear Elker Families and the Ridgway Community,

Please allow me this opportunity to introduce myself. I am Tom Podpora, the new Ridgway Middle and High School principal. I am deeply honored to have been selected to succeed Mr. Brice Benson. I look forward to working with the outstanding faculty, staff, students, and alumni as together we honor the school’s history and advance the promise of its future. I am excited to be able to join the school district and look forward to learning and growing as we progress through the years.  

Personally, I have three children, two sons and one daughter, ranging from 20 to 23 years of age. Professionally, I received my bachelors of science degree in special education from Edinboro University, a master’s degree in educational leadership from St. Bonaventure University, and a letter of eligibility from Gannon University.   

Before becoming a principal, I was a special education teacher for many years at both the middle and high school levels. Most recently, I was the assistant principal at the Wattsburg Area Middle School and Seneca High School, both in the Wattsburg Area School District located in Erie, Pennsylvania. 

I have a passion for education and what it offers to our students. One of my goals is to be visible throughout the building, conversing and listening to staff and students. As the newest member of our school community, I believe that my proactive and positive approach will create a positive school climate throughout the building.

In closing, I am certain that preparing our students to be lifelong learners, successful citizens, and positive role models are goals we have for every child. I look forward to meeting and working with you as I assist our students in embracing the many challenges and opportunities they will face during their academic career.

Yours in Education, 

Thomas A. Podpora

Thomas A. Podpora
Ridgway Middle and High School