Ridolfi Joins Math Department

The new department head begins his first year at WHS


Photo/ Maggie Mahoney

Working in a new district in the middle of a pandemic can be stressful enough for an educator; however, Walpole High’s newest math department head, Jonathan Ridolfi, takes this a step further by stepping up into a leadership position. Despite these changes, Ridolfi feels ready to take on the challenge.

“This is my 16th year with my own classroom,” Ridolfi said. “My last job was as a department chair at Randolph high school, but that was non-evaluatory, so this was a great next step in my career.”

For Ridolfi, Walpole was the best choice because his role as department head extends beyond the high school to the middle school level as well. He finds this vertical alignment allows the schools to work better together to improve math instruction. His new job also allows him to analyze data and observe instruction, so he can have a greater impact on the improvement of student learning.

“What really spoke to me was that when I came to Walpole, there were 14 or 15 people in the interview room who all wanted this job,” Ridolfi said. “This just told me that there is real investment here in the students and who they bring in to be a part of the experience, and that’s the kind of team I want to be on.”

Still new to the school, Ridolfi enjoys meeting all of the teachers and watching how well they work together. He feels encouraged by the work he has seen in the department so far, and he works with individual teachers to create new goals as well.

“Overall, I would like to improve the learning experience for all students and obviously the achievement, and I would like to see more students challenging themselves in high-level classes,” Ridolfi said. “But for right now, I do not want to get too specific in my goals as I am still taking everything in, and I want to make sure we work towards what is best for the students.”

Aside from his responsibilities as department head, Ridolfi also teaches AP Calculus BC classes — the highest level math course available at the high school. Although he only has two classes, teaching is one of his favorite parts of his job.

“I love working with students and seeing them grow, not only as math students but as people as well,” Ridolfi said. “I like to share some of the life lessons I have learned and silly mistakes I have made, and my favorite part is when students come back after they graduate and say thank you because I can see I made a real change.”