Pace takes a step back and takes on virtual lab


Ricky Pace has worked at Chapman for 23 years now, and even before that he attended Chapman as a student.

Since Pace has been an assistant principal at Chapman for so long, it was shocking for students to find out that he has taken a step back from an assistant principal role. 

Pace is the father of twin girls that started their freshman year of college this year, causing him to take out loans. When Pace was given the opportunity to retire, he thought it would be the best decision for him and his family. 

“Retiring gave me enough financial gain, where I no longer had to take out loans to put my girls through college,” Pace said. 

For Pace to retire, and still continue working, he had to go back into a classroom setting. This is what prompted him to take on virtual lab. 

Pace has been in education for 31 years, but he spent the last 14 years as an assistant principal. Being a teacher again is a huge change for Pace, 

“The transition (back to teaching) took a little extra time, but what I am doing I have done before when we were shut down (due to Covid-19),” he said.

With Pace now being a virtual lab teacher, he also teaches at Landrum High School part-time. 

While teaching virtual lab, Pace has the opportunity to assist students that have fallen behind. Pace takes pride in offering students a chance to recover and get back on track. 

Although Pace has taken a step back from his past role, he is still heavily involved with administrative work. 

“Probably half my day is still doing administrative tasks, but you know I am keeping the lab going too,” Pace said. 

Pace stays busy working on PowerSchool, the senior trip and even graduation. One of the biggest changes for Pace, and what he misses the most, is not being able to converse with all the students during lunches. 

Pace stepping down has also brought along some challenges throughout the school. Assistant Principal Amy Driggers said it’s been a challenge to deal with increasing enrollment. Thankfully, people have stepped up to fill gaps. 

“One change is that this has made us reach into our teacher leadership and our staff leadership and say how can we utilize their skills and their talents to help us rebalance the load,” she said.“What’s been kind of neat to see is, you know, how many folks have really stepped up to help us, and who have been able to contribute in ways we might not have realized we could’ve done before.”

Driggers said that she is happy for Pace and believes that he is a great fit for the virtual lab:

 “Mr. Pace is a task-oriented guy. He is great at motivating students, and he will be very successful in this role. The work he has done as an administrator only strengthens his ability to work with these students.”