It’s been a tough couple of weeks for the whole of Clarkston — coming out of the much respected Clarkston Community Schools District.
As the investigation by Detroit Law firm Dickinson Wright continues into the particulars of the previous superintendent of Clarkston schools, Shawn Ryan has accepted the duties as Interim Superintendent. Based on Ryan’s time and experience with the district and his investment in this community, we urge the Board of Education to give Ryan the job on a permanent basis.
In his more than 20 years with Clarkston Community Schools, Ryan has proven himself to be an extraordinary educator and leader. In her “letter” to the community last week, school board president Elizabeth Egan said, “ . . . We are grateful for his (Ryan’s) clear-headed, steadfast leadership ad firmly believe that under his guidance, we can begin to move forward as a community . . .”
Instead of hiring an outside firm to seek and hire an outside person, let’s save the district’s (taxpayers’) time and money and offer the job to Ryan.
Ryan knows the district. He served as a guest teacher (1995-1996), student teacher (1996), science teacher (1997-2002), Clarkston High School assistant principal (2002-2004), Clarkston Middle School principal (2004-2005), Clarkston Junior High School principal (2005-2010), and deputy superintendent (2010-2017).
His career accomplishments include spearheading the middle school/junior high reconfiguration in 2004; a restructuring that reduced the district budget by $10 million in 2010; and passing a $76 million bond for technology and facilities updates. His strong administrative leadership also brought about the incorporation of the Whole Child initiative and Leader in Me program, which revitalized the district’s focus on the broader social-emotional needs of children.
Most recently, Ryan was instrumental in the introduction of improved co-curricular opportunities in all of Clarkston’s elementary schools, and the addition of instructional technology and reading coaches across the district.
Ryan resides in Clarkston, with his wife Gina, and he is the father of 2017 Clarkston High School graduate Jake and Clarkston Community Schools students Alec, Evan, and Elly.
We believe he is a natural community builder, and has an ability to create unique community connections.
Ryan knows what the district promised from the $76 million bond passed in 2016. He understands the district’s structure, strengths and weaknesses. He knows the staff, students, parents and community. Instead of trying to find another person to fit into Clarkston’s footprint, or god forbid, change the district’s direction, hire from within.
Let’s keep the course and keep Ryan at the helm. — DPR