Mr. Virgil Lee Ritchie, Superintendent of Schools, Lewis USD 502, Lewis, will retire on July 1. Mr. Ritchie has been with the Lewis Public Schools for 22 years, six years as High School Principal and the last 16 years as Superintendent of Schools, which is the longest tenure for a Superintendent in Lewis Public Schools history. Mr. Ritchie has been in education for 34 years – 1982-85 at Waconda USD 272 (Teacher, School Counselor, Coach); 1985-86 at Great Bend USD 428 (School Counselor); 1986-94 at Ness City USD 303 (School Counselor, Coach); 1994-2016 at Lewis USD 502 (Principal, Superintendent).
Mr. Ritchie was born and raised in Pawnee Rock surrounded by a large family of 11 children (eight boys and three girls) and his mom and dad. He is the youngest sibling of his family. He attended Pawnee Rock Schools for 12 years, up through his junior year. He graduated from Macksville High School in 1973 after the high school in Pawnee Rock was closed before his Senior year.
Mr. Ritchie served in the U.S. Air Force after high school. After his military service, he attended college earning an AS Degree from Barton County Community College, a BS Degree from Fort Hays State University, a MS Degree from Fort Hays State University, an Ed.S. Degree from Fort Hays State University, and then 36 additional graduate hours beyond his Ed.S. from Fort Hays State University.
Mr. Ritchie’s family include his wife, Penny Ritchie, who has been the Board Treasurer, payroll clerk, food service representative, and secretary for Lewis USD 502. Penny will join Mr. Ritchie in his retirement on Aug. 1, after working 16 years for Lewis USD 502. Mr. and Mrs. Ritchie have two children who graduated from Lewis High School. Luke Ritchie and his wife Tracy along with five grandchildren, Gage, Elise, William, Isla, and Olivia. Luke is the Science teacher, PE teacher and coach at Western Plains school district. Lindsey Wallace and her husband Brett along with one grandchild, Arianna. Lindsey is the Music teacher at Medicine Lodge school district.
A retirement reception will be held at 10:45 a.m. on May 26, in the Lewis School lunch room right after the Promotion/Academic Awards Program which starts at 10 a.m. in the Lewis Gymnasium.