Ferguson retirement feted

       Retiring Bristol Elementary Principal Steve Ferguson was honored by more than 100 parents, staff and members of the community at a good-bye party May 15.

Retiring Bristol Elementary Principal Steve Ferguson (left) talks with his replacement, Manual Ramsey, during a retirement party for Ferguson May 15 in the school gym. Ramsey has been the principal at Pike Elementary, which will be closing after this school year, with some of its students going to Bristol.
Westside Pioneer photo

       He had led the Westside school at 890 N. Walnut St. for the past 12 years. Among his accomplishments were overseeing the completion in 2000 of the 54-by-9-foot timeline mural by Kathy Halstead Barnes, who was dying of cancer at the time; and the development of Bristol as an arts “magnet” school for District 11.
       Health was a big part of Ferguson's decision to step down. A 23-year District 11 veteran, he's been fighting multiple sclerosis for close to 15 years, and he's said he can feel its degenerative aspects in times of heat and stress.
       Among the well-wishers at the good-bye party were Pike Principal Manuel Ramsey, who will be replacing Ferguson in the 2009-10 school year. Pike is one of nine schools the district will close after this year as part of a regrouping effort for educational efficiency and cost savings.
       “I'm going to stay involved,” Ferguson said, mentioning the possibility of volunteering on an arts committee. “But it's Manuel's school now.”

Westside Pioneer article