This December, will lose one of its most beloved administrators.
Principal Ro Frey, 61, decided to retire at the end of December to spend more time with her family—especially her five-year-old grandson Liam, before he attends kindergarten.
“I am grateful to the community for the opportunity to be a part of children’s’ futures,” said Frey. “I was blessed to be given an opportunity to work with such a wonderful staff and lovely children.”
Frey began her career in education in 1973 as a teacher. She has worked in public, private, urban and rural school districts including Hershey, Philadelphia and Pleasant Valley.
In 1996, Frey began her first administrative position as assistant principal of students in kindergarten through eighth grade in Saucon Valley School District. Then, in 2000 Fry replaced retiring Saucon Valley Elementary Principal Douglas Koch.
Frey said there are some special and unique qualities that Saucon Valley School District possesses.
“There’s a really strong parent-school connection here,” she said. “Our children are lovely and there is a strong sense of community.”
In reflecting upon her 16 years of service with the district, Frey said there are many things of which she is proud.
“I am proud of being a good teacher, being part of a wonderful team, the marvelous staff /teachers/ support staff--no one works harder or cares more than the staff,” she said. “I am really proud to be part of a team that serves children and I couldn’t do it without teacher involvement.”
Like all things, there have been challenges for Frey.
“The biggest challenge is it is a huge elementary school and it is tough to keep the small town feeling,” she said. “The success we’ve had with this challenge is due to the parent-teacher connection. Parents are almost always supportive.”
In addition, Frey said keeping up with technology has been challenging. The elementary school has been trying to make all classrooms into SMART classrooms—classrooms with interactive whiteboards and projectors
"To continue on the same level as we have is difficult," she said. "We have financial challenges in this day and age, and we need to find a way to continue having the best resources in times of shrinking financial support. You have to do more with less in an age of accountability."
Challenges or not, Frey has enjoyed her career immensely.
With a smile and a twinkle in her eye, she said her favorite thing about being principal at Saucon Valley are the “delightful conversations with children, watching them grow and thrive--seeing them excited about learning.”
Frey will always remember the assemblies at the beginning of every year in the elementary courtyard, where 1,000 children all come together. Frey said the children are always well-behaved, respectful, polite and fun during this assembly. In addition, she will never forget when retiring music teacher Kevin O’Connell wrote a music piece for her, and dedicated it to her while all the children applauded.
In her retirement, Frey plans to spend time with grandson Liam and sons Shawn and Michael.
Frey said she will also spend time traveling, participating in volunteer work, reading and learning Spanish.