Greenwich’s Alternative High School Gets a New Program Administrator

Superintendent of Schools Bill McKerise announced the appointment of Rosemarie “Roe” Ampha has been appointed Program Administrator of Greenwich Alternative High School’s effective July 1, 2015.

Ms. Ampha’s appontment was announced by Superintendent McKersie on Thursday.

The position became vacant due to the retirement of the Greenwich Alternative High School Program Associate Barbara Varanelli.

Roe Ampha has been with the Greenwich Public Schools at Greenwich High School since 200, first as a Special Education teacher. She later became the Program Administrator for Special Education at the high school 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.

Ms. Ampha has guided the program through an expansion of options for students and worked closely with staff from the Comprehensive Support Program 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.

“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,” said Director of Pupil Personnel Services Mary Forde. “She looks forward to promoting a program that capitalizes on the strengths of the students enrolled and the faculty at Greenwich Alternative High School.”

Barbara Varanelli, who will retire on July 1, began her career in education almost twenty years ago as a Social Worker for Arch School, an alternative high school program in Greenwich.

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 for 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.

Ms. 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 for 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.

Ms. 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 in 1981, and a Masters in School Building Leadership from Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry in 2007