NCCS appoints Ludwig interim principal

Andy Ludwig

Northern Chautauqua Catholic School has a new leader.

On Thursday, NCCS announced on its website that Andrew Ludwig was appointed interim principal and will stay in the position at least until the end of the school year.

At the beginning of the school year Jenny Tilaro was the principal. She apparently is leaving to take a curriculum position at BOCES, effective Nov. 26.

Ludwig had been the middle school principal at Fredonia from 2002 until December 2017. Six weeks beforehand, Ludwig was put on leave following allegations he had restrained a student. During his suspension, many teachers, parents and students attended the school board meetings, pleading to have him reinstated. They called him a role model, a leader who worked morning to evening and a listener to students and staff.

Ludwig and the school were able to reach an agreement and he officially retired from the district on June 30. He received his base salary plus benefits and a lump sum of half his yearly pay, according to a separation agreement between him and the school district. The separation agreement did not reference the allegations that were reported to cause him to be suspended.

In July, following his retirement, Ludwig submitted his name to be a member of the Fredonia School Board when officials were looking to fill a vacancy. The board ended up selecting Lisa Powell Fortna.

In his announcement for his new position, Ludwig noted how he has a long history with the local community.

“I grew up in Fredonia and have lived in the area since 1969. I attended and graduated from Fredonia Central Schools. I also attended SUNY Fredonia, where I majored in mathematics. In 1985 I was hired to teach math at the Fredonia Middle School. As a teacher, I coached modified wrestling for almost 20 years and I was the advisor for many, many clubs and activities. I loved every minute of my teaching career but new challenges were laying in wait for me. After attending St. Bonaventure University and SUNY Fredonia, I was awarded a School District Leader Certificate and was named Fredonia Middle School principal shortly thereafter. I recently retired from my principalship and have been teaching mathematics part-time at Jamestown Community College. Teaching at JCC has been wonderful but I recently learned that the college will not have any courses for me to teach this spring. The opportunity to serve as your principal has truly been a blessing but I have teaching responsibilities, two days a week at JCC, until the end of December. Another veteran educator, Mrs. Janice Stokes has agreed to provide administrative coverage on the days in December that I can’t be present at NCCS. I look forward to working with Mrs. Stokes. I am married to Kara Christina, who is an English teacher at Fredonia Middle School. Our two children, Owen and Diana, are high school students at Fredonia and we are members of St. Anthony’s parish,” he wrote.

Ludwig continued, “I have over three decades of experience as an advocate for children and students of all ages. I am very good at what I do. Being the interim principal at NCCS is something that I take very seriously and something that will present new challenges for me. I will need your prayers and support if we are to build on the progress that has been recently made and continue to move our school forward. I am excited to meet and get to know all of the members of our NCCS family. I promise to work very hard as your principal and I promise to take very good care of our children.”