The Journal first reported two weeks ago that the Riverdale Academy board had selected Dr. Robert Peters as the school’s new Principal. Dr. Peters sat down with The Journal last Friday to discuss his thoughts and plans for the coming school year.
Dr. Peters is no stranger to Red River Parish. He has resided at Fairview, just below the parish line since 1994. He is a member of Fairview Baptist Church. Dr. Peter was Principal at Coushatta High in 2001 and transitioned the school to Red River High School in 2002. From 2008 to 2014 he was Headmaster at Central School at Grand Cane.
His office is just to the right as you enter the school’s front doors. It is small and sparsely furnished. He said, “That’s not my priority. Pictures on the wall and other fixtures can come later. I’ve got some other things to do first.”
The new principal describes Riverdale as “a school that nurturers a set of traditions to which families are very attentive.” He cited the Ice Cream Supper and the way the school conducts graduation ceremonies as two examples. “Riverdale is very dedicated to tradition,” he added. “The school’s culture is oriented toward sports,” said Dr. Peters, “with plenty of room to grow and expand academic excellence.”
The Journal asked Dr. Peters what would be his first task as principal. He said, “We have to recruit more students. We have to further enhance our academic excellence. And we have to maintain the tradition of sports and academic excellence.”
A couple of points Dr. Peters emphasized during the interview are that Riverdale Academy has to assure that all teachers are certified or working to complete their certification by the state of Louisiana. He said, “This is necessary so that we can offer the TOPS scholarships and also so that we can participate in MAIS sports. My job is to assure that our teachers are properly certified to meet the requirements of both the state of Louisiana and the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools. And that our traditions of a strong sports program and emphasis on academic excellence are maintained.”
Dr. Peters stressed, “Riverdale does not discriminate on the bases of race, sex or national origin.” He added, “Our board claims an overarching Christian world view. A school making that claim can talk about all subjects in the context of the divine origin. We place subjects in proper context so that students will be taught their subjects pointing to the divine origin.”
“We will build upon and strengthen our academic excellence,” said Dr. Peters. “We are offering dual enrollment classes with colleges and universities and this will be strengthened. This is of particular interest to our seniors,” he added.
Another challenge Dr. Peters noted, “We are working to make the public aware of Riverdale Academy’s accomplishments. And we are working to attract more students to both our athletic and academic excellence.”