Ryan J. Donaher

Doctoral Student

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Ryan J. Donaher is an an assistant principal of an urban K-8 neighborhood school in Massachusetts. His passion to become an educator was sparked early in his life by special teachers who had an impact on him at a young age. Over the years, as he has developed his art and craft of teaching, Ryan’s philosophy of education has taken shape into one simple motto: “Be You!” With his former teachers in the back of his mind, Ryan aims to help shape and mold students by developing their own voices, perspectives, styles, and uniqueness while instilling in them the key values of empathy and inclusivity.

Over his last ten years as an educator, Ryan has been a classroom teacher who received significant support from his supervisors and mentors. Because of their help, he has held leadership roles as a teacher mentor, team leader, school council teacher representative, principal’s designee, district induction and mentoring coordinator, and adjunct professor of education. All these experiences have prepared Ryan to enter this position as an assistant principal.

Pronouns: he/him

BA, English and Secondary Education, Assumption College
EdM, English and Language Arts Education, Boston University
CAGS, Educational Leadership, University of Massachusetts Boston

Underperforming schools have a significant turnover in leadership, and most educational leadership programs do not specifically narrow their training directly toward the role of assistant principal. More insight and understanding of the assistant principal’s role is needed to enhance the individualized training and support. This knowledge will help to better train and retain new administrators to be successful in underperforming schools.

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