David Ryan: Changing leadership in SAU 53 should be met with excitement

For the Monitor
Tuesday, April 17, 2018

I feel blessed to have been able to serve the communities of Allenstown, Chichester and Epsom as their superintendent of schools, even if it was for only one year. In my short time working with the faculty, staff and families of these towns, I have developed tremendous respect for how hard these people work to provide exceptional learning experiences for all students. And while leaving such a wonderful place is bittersweet, I am looking forward to carrying their work ethic forward in my new role with the knowledge that a strong superintendent like Peter Warburton will be doing the same here in my place.

My professional career took a turn in early March when I was offered the superintendent of schools position in SAU 16. I was not searching for a new position, but I also had not hidden my goal of someday serving the Seacoast communities of SAU 16. Career timing has never been aligned for that to happen, and while it certainly was not aligned in this instance either, the needs there changed drastically and I felt compelled to act. When I accepted the position, it was done with publicly stated guilt and reservation given my short tenure in SAU 53, and my documented belief that a long-term commitment to a school system leadership position is critical to the success of the students in that SAU. That belief has not changed.

I absolutely love my work in SAU 53. The people who work here do everything in their power to improve student experiences in a highly complex system of high school feeder schools. I know this will continue with the return of Mr. Warburton. He brings more than 40 years of experience back to the district, having served in the roles of teacher, assistant principal, athletic director, principal, assistant superintendent and superintendent. His return should be celebrated as he is a well-respected and successful systems leader.

I know that members of the SAU 53 community are excited about Mr. Warburton’s return and look forward to his leadership in the years ahead. I, too, look forward to hearing about the successful endeavors of SAU 53 in the future and the hardworking people who make up its community. Working together as a team, I know the SAU and its community can do great things. I appreciate the opportunity to have been a part of such a wonderful team.

(David Ryan is currently the superintendent of schools for the Allenstown, Chichester and Epsom school districts.)