Ron Bell

Before coming to CIE Ron was a Peace Corps Volunteer.  He was sent to Ethiopia in the fall of 1961, among the first group of volunteers requested by Emperor Haile Selassie I, to assist in expanding educational opportunities for the people of his country. Ron’s assignment was to develop a music program at the only secondary school in Wollo Province in Dessie, north of the capital city of Addis Ababa.


After returning home, he worked at the Peace Corps National Headquarters in Washington, D.C., for five years, with assignments including Africa Liaison Officer, in the office of Volunteer Support; Ethiopian Operations Officer; Deputy Chief of East and Southern Africa; Chief of the West Africa Division, and Chief of the East, West and Southern Africa Division of the Africa Region of the Peace Corps.


He subsequently served for 30 years as assistant superintendent of schools of the Amherst, Pelham and Amherst-Pelham Regional Schools in Amherst. In 2001 he reflected on his time as assistant superintendent as follows:


I can say that during this time I have had 28 differing jobs - thus keeping my energy and interest up. The last few years have entailed coordinating a 22 million dollar expansion/renovation of our high school, including bringing it into the 21st century in terms of technology. As a very brief respite, next summer I'll be coordinating the expansion/renovation of two elementary schools. It seems as if I have gone into the construction business. It's whole new language to learn - everything from 'noise reduction coefficients' to the varying quality of 'three-pass vs. four-pass boilers'. I don't seem to recall a course from DRE in this stuff, but it's probably something I just overlooked in putting my doctoral program together.

In addition to work Ron had this to say about his lifetime avocation as a trumpet player:


Ron BellI have continued an active sideline with my trumpet playing. This spring will see my 30th year with the Pioneer Valley Symphony, 18th year directing the Amherst Brass Band, and 21st year with the Amherst Brass Ensemble - plus cantatas, musicals, weddings and church gigs too numerous to mention. I have even been successful over the years in getting DRE to pull out his trombone from time to time to join us in some of these ventures.


Now retired, Ron still lives in Amherst. [1-24]




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