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Father and Son Emphasize Career and College Readiness to Freedom Elementary School Fifth Grade Students

Paul Rippy speaks to Olivia Rippy's students

Michael Paul Rippy Jr. was Bullitt Central High School’s top 2018 graduate and is majoring in Finance as a University of Kentucky freshman.

Michael Paul Rippy Sr. is a successful builder and project manager for EH Construction which built the college and career centers at Bullitt East and North Bullitt High Schools along with the major renovations at Mt. Washington Elementary and Bullitt Lick Middle Schools.

The father and son chose different paths…One selected the college pathway while the other opted for a career choice.

Both brought advice to Olivia Rippy’s fifth grade class. Mrs. Rippy is Mike’s wife and Paul’s mother.

“I wanted my students to hear both perspectives,” Olivia said. “They need to realize that while college is very important, it is not for everyone. There are many career fields that can capture their interests.”

Paul focused on the importance of school, such as showing up for class, paying attention to the teacher, taking good notes, doing homework, studying for exams and working the best to one’s ability.

“For the most part, I always looked forward to going to school,” Paul said. “Of course, there were days I woke up tired or maybe not feeling great but I pushed myself because I knew the investment I made today would pay off down the road.”

Paul certainly made the most of his school career. He was selected a Very Important Partner in middle school and adorned a poster with his trusty trumpet.

He really rocked his high school years earning a cavalcade of academic awards, being chosen as a Governor’s Scholar (and spending five weeks during the summer of 2017 on a college campus in intensive learning) and delivering a dynamic commencement address before the Class of 2018 at Freedom Hall.

Gifted in math and science, Paul encouraged students to pursue their academic passions.

“Don’t let anyone get in the way of your dreams,” he said. “The only person who can stop you is your reflection in a mirror.”

Mike Rippy is a hands-on kind of professional who uses tools such as a measuring tape and blueprints on a daily basis along with a lot of mathematics.

“School is very important because you learn what you need to be successful in a career,” he said. “I could have gone to college but I chose the field instead.”

From there, many of Mike’s points were identical to Paul’s. Show up every day for work on time and perform the best to your ability.

“Some days are definitely longer than others and challenges will always come up but you learn to work through them to create the best building possible,” he said noting that numerous construction projects involve learning institutions.

“We are proud to build some of the finest schools in Kentucky,” he said.

Both speakers urged students to stay away from drugs which can ruin lives.

“The fastest path to destruction is to get started on harmful substances,” Paul said. “Remember what you learned from the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program and apply it to your life. And never, ever give in to peer pressure.”

Mike let students know that when they are old enough to apply for employment, things such as drug violations and criminal history do come into play.

“Most companies, ours included, have a strict drug testing policy,” he said.

Students took notes and replicated replies when prompted by Mrs. Rippy. They enjoyed using a measuring tape to learn the parameters of their desks.

No doubt that the Rippy family inspired future educators, builders and honors graduates.

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1040 Highway 44 East
Shepherdsville, KY 40165