Schools hire new photographer

By Jonathan Delozier -

A new company is set to take over school photos in Wellington this fall.

Cleveland-based Ripcho Studio has been chosen over six others that vied for the job, according to superintendent Ed Weber.

Ripcho, which gave a presentation to the board of education June 5 during a special work session, will handle school photos and yearbook production.

School photos and photos of district functions had been overseen by local photographer Dan Messaros, who is retiring. Yearbook production had rotated over the years between Minnesota-based Jostens and Kansas-based Walsworth.

“Mr. Messaros retired from much of his school photography a couple of years ago but he stayed on with us,” Weber said. “He only wanted to stay on one additional year, so we honored that request. We knew this year we’d have to get someone new. He’ll probably help out at times if there’s a need or if we need some advising.”

All students will receive a free school portrait package from Ripcho consisting of two three-by-five and four jumbo wallet photos. The school district will pay Ripcho roughly $7,000 for its services, which averages out to approximately $7 per student.

William Ripcho Jr. said his studio photographs roughly 250,000 students in more than 400 schools each year.

Noted features include email notifications for when pictures are available, online ordering, and cloud photo storage.

Needs Cleveland, a nonprofit started by Ripcho, takes in gently used clothing and household items from schools’ lost and founds and distributes them free-of-charge at its Cleveland store, 7710 Lorain Ave. The owner said Wellington will be more than welcome to participate.

Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.

By Jonathan Delozier