Mary Ryan, Finn principal, to retire at the end of the school year

Above: Finn Principal Mary Ryan

After 14 years as principal of Finn School, Mary Ryan will retire at the end of the school year.

In announcing her retirement at the school committee meeting last night, Superintendent Charles Gobron praised Ryan’s contribution to the district. “She has been generous with her time, thoughtful with her valued advice, and always concerned, in any deliberations, about what’s best for children.”

Ryan accomplished much during her tenure, including spearheading Finn’s effort to obtain the prestigious National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) accreditation, developing literacy programs, and instituting the use of assessments to drive instruction.

But Ryan says what’s she is most proud of is the community that has developed at Finn among teachers, staff, parents, and students. She says it was that collaborative spirit that enabled key achievements like the NAEYC accreditation.

“I love hearing visitors to the school comment on what a happy place this is. It’s a happy building,” she said.

As a principal, Ryan has been hands-on. “I don’t use my office much,” she said. “I like being out walking the halls and interacting with students.”

It’s that interaction Ryan says she’ll miss the most.

At last night’s school committee meeting, Gobron announced that Woodward principal James Randell will take over as principal for both Woodward and Finn next year as a cost-saving measure. Ryan said while her retirement is bittersweet, she feels better knowing the school will be in capable hands.

Ryan told the school committee she’s enjoyed “every minute” of her 14-year career.

As for her retirement, Ryan said she plans to travel and to continue teaching graduate school. “I’ll be keeping busy,” she said.

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