New principal excited to join Upper Arlington community
by Ella Koscher
On Aug. 1, Ryan McClure joined UAHS, making him the school’s third principal in three years. McClure not only has 20 years of experience in the field of education, but he also is familiar with the Upper Arlington community.
In a June Upper Arlington newsletter, new superintendent Paul Imhoff discussed McClure’s credentials.
“[McClure] is a strong curricular leader who is on the cutting edge of instructional technology. But I am most impressed with Ryan’s dedication to kids and creating a positive school climate. He will be a great asset to our district.”
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Q: You have had experience at Hilliard City Schools, South-Western City Schools, and Licking Heights High School. How did those experiences prepare you?
McClure: I have been in a wide range of different environments and I will say that at South-Western, and especially Hilliard, I got a lot of professional development when I was there. I have also been around Upper Arlington [and] with being part of the OCC and talking to UAHS principals in the past, I am a little knowledgeable about Upper Arlington, what they have to offer, and some of the things they have done in the past when Mr. Greenhill was here. I think I have a little bit of an idea [of how the school operates].
Q: What changes are you planning to make this school year?
McClure: Upper Arlington has been a wonderful high school for a long time, so I don’t think you will see any changes right away. I am going to watch and see how things go at first. Probably at some point I will start to put my stamp on things or maybe see a couple things that we can do a little differently that is advantageous to our kids.
Q: What will be the most challenging aspect of the job?
McClure: I think anytime you walk in and you have 1800 new kids, another 160 staff, and names to learn, that is always a challenge. Getting to know who does what and getting to know the kids’ names [is difficult]. When you are bombarded with that many names at one time, it takes a little bit of time to figure everything out.
Q: What goals do you have for yourself, the administration and/or the student body in your first year as principal?
McClure: We want to get to know the kids better. We want to improve our school spirit. We want to celebrate the things we do really well better and more often. I want to get to know kids, what they do, and what is really wonderful here…The musical has been fantastic for a long time. Our band has been really good. We have had a lot of National Merit finalists. [We have] the IB program, service learning, capstone projects…[and] a great number of kids who have taken AP exams. I just want to get to know those things first before we do anything else.
Q: Last fall the levy failed. How will you handle this loss of resources and faculty?
McClure: I have a lot of confidence in our staff, how they will bounce back and make sure they continue to serve kids … as they have in the past. I think anytime you have good people they will overcome some obstacles and continue to provide a world class education.
Q: To what aspect of the job are you most looking forward?
McClure: I think getting kids in the building, getting to know them [and] feeling that energy when everyone gets back and school gets started [is] what I look forward to.
Principal Ryan McClure prepares for the 2013-14 school year. McClure officially began his tenure at UAHS Aug. 1.
Image by Kota Ashton