Written by Melissa Burden
Friday, 29 August 2008 08:22
For Ralph Myers, the first few days at Woodmore High School in Elmore have been pretty much the same as they have been for him for the last 20 years.
Except, this year, Myers has taken the helm as principal of the grades 7-12 school.
Myers was hired by the board of education last spring to replace Tony Anastasio who resigned.
According to Steve Huss, board of education president, Myers was considered the best candidate to fill the position that has seen much turnover in recent years.
“We felt he was the best candidate of all of them,” Huss said. “He already knows the system and the people and he will not need a one year learning period to find out what is going on.”
Huss said Myer’s long-term employment with the school was a quality the board was looking for.
“We wanted someone with experience within the system and longevity,” Huss said. “We have been changing principals every couple of years and we did not want to do that anymore. The principal’s job is a tough position because you have to wear a lot of hats when you are the principal in a small school that houses both junior high and high school. Ralph (Myers) knows the people and this community and was a very good fit for us.”
Born in Cleveland and raised in Avon Lake, Myers graduated from Avon Lake High School in 1974.
He earned both his Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Master’s degree in Education Administration from Bowling Green State University. Myers is also certified in secondary math from Kent State University.
He has taught math in Buckeye Valley, Mansfield Madison and Oberlin Schools before coming to Woodmore in 1986.
“I was going to Kent State at the time and Woodmore needed a math teacher so they called the BGSU placement office and I took the position,” he explained. “At the time, all I knew about Woodmore was Tank’s Meat Market. My dad was a traveling salesman and always talked about Tanks.”
Myers was married in 2004 to Jane, who was hired one month ago to serve as an elementary principal at Crestwood Elementary School in the Swanton School District. His stepdaughter, Abby, is working toward becoming a physician’s assistant.
Myers lists listening to music and playing guitar as his current hobbies.
“I also spend time suffering with all of the Cleveland sports teams,” he said adding that his parking spot, number 19, was chosen because of his long-time allegiance to Bernie Kosar, a former Cleveland Browns quarterback.
“I have enjoyed teaching at Woodmore and when the position became available, I felt it was time for me to put my experience at Woodmore to another use by serving as principal.”
Myers said he has implemented some changes in the student handbook in his quest to fulfill the school’s mission statement to “guide our students through comprehensive learning experiences in a safe and disciplined environment“.
“We want our students to have respect for each other and for the teachers,”
Myers said. “We want to provide a safe and secure environment at the high school as well as a well rounded education.”
Myers said he felt there were some minor discipline problems at the school in the past but, said he is trying to make changes that will help the 560 students with their education experience.
“We had, in my opinion, many times when students were not where they were supposed to be,” he explained. “We used to have three minutes between classes and it was hard for them to get to their designated classes on time. I have increased the time to four minutes so they can get where they need to be on time.”
The district, as well as the high school, has received an “effective” rating on the current Ohio Department of Education’s report card. Myers said he is hoping to increase that rating.
“We are looking at where we are currently and making sure that we are teaching to the state standards,” Myers said. “We want to make sure our curriculum aligns with the state standards.”
Myers said he is excited about the current school year and about the staff at the school.
“We hired eight new teachers and we are excited about the new staff,” he said. “The experienced staff members are also excited about the new staff members. They bring with them a lot of enthusiasm as well as a willingness to work both inside the classroom as well as outside the classroom as coaches and advisors. We are expecting to have a very good year.”