Kris Bria's long career at the Long Ridge School in Stamford has culminated with her receiving a prestigious award.
Bria was honored Thursday with the 2017 Connecticut Association of Independent School's Distinguished Leader Award. Bria received a special proclamation from the Pound Ridge Town Board and Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino declared Thursday as Kris Bria Day.
Bria is retiring at the end of the school year, following 29 years as head of school. She previously taught nursery school for 10 years and also taught kindergarten, first grade and was an assistant head for four years.
"I'm very humbled and appreciated," Bria said about receiving the award. "I can't believe it."
Bria first discovered the Long Ridge School when she was looking for a nursery school for her son and enrolled him there.
"I am finally graduating," Bria said. "My son graduated but I never did."
In retirement, Bria plans to do some work in education and pursue other interests and said she is looking forward to no longer being on call 24-7. She said she will miss her time at Long Ridge, which serves students in preschool and from K to 5.
"It's a wonderful school for children, teachers, and parents," Bria said. "I wish every school was like this for children. The 80th anniversary is a tribute to the many people who have been here. I hope it continues for many years."
Bria said she always looked for what was the best way to educate children.
"Our goal is to support them," Bria said.
Some alumni have sent their children to Long Ridge, while one of the graduates has a mother who is a beginner teacher.
"He recently graduated college," Bria said. "I remember watching him play with Play-Doh."
Bria said it has been a privilege to watch people come in two-year-olds and then soon start to grow and thrive.
"It's a wonderful gift that can't be measured," Bria said.
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