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The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


The End of an Era: The Rock Says Goodbye to Ben Stodola

After seven years of teaching at Rock Ridge, marketing teacher Ben Stodola will bid Rock Ridge High School farewell as he moves to work in technical education.
Arnav Mahajan
CTE chair and DECA sponsor Ben Stodola has had a lasting impact on the Rock. He is leaving to work in technical education, although he will miss his students and coworkers.

With seven years of teaching at Rock Ridge under his belt, marketing teacher Ben Stodola will be leaving the Rock and move into the technical education field in a neighboring county. However, this isn’t how he expected the end of the year to go. “I had no intention to leave [when the year started],” Stodola said. “I also didn’t realize an opportunity like this would [exist then].” 

Junior Ruth Gemechu, Vice President of Member Achievement on the DECA leadership team, a program in which Stodola is a prominent leader, believes his presence will be greatly missed. “When he told us he was leaving, I was really sad,” Gemechu said. “Whenever I asked him questions, he always responded with kindness and never made me feel like I was bothering him, no matter what the questions were about. He’s a great mentor.”

Stodola has earned many achievements over his time at Rock Ridge, like Marketing Teacher of the Year, and has solidified his place. “His encouragement and quick-thinking skills is what makes him a great teacher, and he’ll be missed by everyone in DECA,” Gemechu said.

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Stodola’s transition to his new job won’t be easy. “We told our leadership team for DECA last Friday, and it was really tough, because my favorite aspect of teaching is working with kids,” Stodola said. “I hate grading, I hate some of that other stuff, [but not working with kids] is the hardest part.” Though nervous about leaving, Stodola believes that what he’s doing will be beneficial for his family. “The staff here is awesome, so having to meet new co-workers [will be tough,]” Stodola said.  “I’m leaving a very strong and positive environment to try something that’ll hopefully be good for me and my family, so it’s a little terrifying.”

The DECA team and larger Rock Ridge community wish Stodola the best of luck in his new position. 

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About the Contributors
Arnav Mahajan
Arnav Mahajan, Staff Writer
Arnav Mahajan is a freshman and it's his first year on the newspaper staff. He joined the newspaper because he has a strong passion for writing, which he uses to express himself. His main style of writing is argument and opinion-based pieces. He's looking forward to getting good work done and meeting the rest of the staff. When he’s not writing, he enjoys playing sports and video games, especially puzzle-based ones. He’s so excited to be part of the staff this year.
Maya Coleman
Maya Coleman, Business Manager
Maya Coleman is a junior and this is her second year on “The Blaze.” She is the Business Manager and is excited for another year on the school newspaper! Ever since she was younger, she’s loved to write, and it’s something she believes she will always be very passionate about. She is a part of Rock Ridge Sings as another elective, and in her free time she enjoys reading books, watching movies, and hanging out with her friends.
Bella Gerardi
Bella Gerardi, Staff Writer
Bella Gerardi is a junior and this is her third year on staff. She has always enjoyed writing and found a passion in it specifically in middle school.  In the future, she plans to go to George Mason and major in Journalism and Communications to continue her passion for writing. Bella plays lacrosse for the school as a defender. Her favorite hobbies include drawing, playing music, reading, cooking with friends, and watching movies

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