By Sue Wambolt, Contributing Writer
Southborough – Clayton Ryan has been named assistant principal for both the Mary E. Finn Elementary and the Albert S. Woodward Memorial schools for the 2013-2014 school year. He is currently a behavior specialist serving both the Finn and Margaret A. Neary schools.
Ryan said he looks forward to maintaining the educational excellence and a positive culture for all of Southborough's students in his new position. His broad background will help him tackle the many facets of this new position, such as providing discipline, supervising multiple curriculums, evaluating teachers and contributing to school policy.
Ryan has a bachelor's degree in clinical psychology and a master's degree in education with a concentration in special education. He started his career as a case manager at Wayside Community Programs and then moved onto work with adjudicated adolescents who suffered from major psychiatric issues at Worcester State Hospital, teaching life skills and U.S. history. He then worked at Westwood Lodge Hospital, teaching at the elementary level (general education) in its acute psychiatric children's unit. He then moved onto the Gifford School in Weston where he worked as the coordinator of student services for their lower school. In 1999, Ryan was hired to serve Southborough's Finn and Neary schools as a behavior specialist.
As the current school year winds down, Ryan reflected on the responsibilities of his impending position as assistant principal.
“One of the main responsibilities I see in my position is to allow Jim Randell [the principal of both Finn and Woodward] to lead and to take each school further towards the direction and vision he has laid out,” Ryan said. “I's also excited to lead staff meetings and help our staff develop and grow within their profession, and to support the needs of all of our students.”
Ryan said he is looking forward to helping to set and maintain a positive tone and climate for the schools. In doing so, he has ideas for changes.
“I have ideas for subtle changes that are consistent with the district's strategic plan and mission statement,” he said. “One idea that I's currently working on is the theme of volunteerism and alternative education. We are blessed with a very supportive community in Southborough, a community that is actively involved in our schools. I's like to formalize an aspect of this relationship and bring in career professionals within the area of math and science to co-teach weekly learning lab classes. These learning labs would allow creative design, exploration, innovation, and fun to take place outside of the traditional classroom context.”
Ryan is eager to aid Randell in the overall administration of the Southborough schools for the upcoming school year. Still, though, he looks to the future.
“I's still holding on to my dream of becoming an astronaut,” he said, “but since I's in my late 40s and approaching 50 I don's think NASA will have me so I guess I'sl have to stick to educational administration. But seriously, I enjoy collaborative/shared leadership and would like to stay within educational administration, eventually becoming a high school dean of student services if the right opportunity comes about. I's also an adjunct professor, teaching psychology courses at Bunker Hill Community College and may look into that on a more permanent basis.”