Ryan Welch Wins Two Assistant Principal Awards
Writer / Matt Keating
Ryan Welch believes being a positive influence helped him win the 2021-2022 State Assistant Principal of the Year award, as well as District 2 Assistant Principal of the Year honors, for his job at Riverside Intermediate School in Plymouth.
“The Indiana Association of School Principals [IASP] is a statewide organization to support and serve school leaders in Indiana,” Welch says. “I was nominated by my building principal, Kyle Coffman. This process required multiple letters of recommendation and an application. This led to me being recognized as the District 2 Assistant Principal of the Year. This in itself is a great honor because of the fabulous assistant principals in our area.”
By being recognized as the District 2 Assistant Principal of the Year, Welch was then up for the State Assistant Principal of the Year award.
“The process for this had me submit a lengthy application,” he says. “The application had me explain my memberships and areas of leadership at both the state and community level. I had to include my own professional development and some of my proudest career achievements. I had to answer essay questions regarding my leadership skill set, creating a positive learning environment, how I have improved instruction, and overall responsibilities.”
Letters also had to be submitted from teachers and students.
“On November 21, IASP puts on a banquet which falls between the Assistant Principal Conference and the Fall Professionals Conference,” Welch says. “At this banquet all 12 region winners are recognized. Then the organization recognizes the Assistant Principal, Elementary, Middle and High School Principals of the Year.”
Welch was honored to win the award.
“It is hard for me to identify a few things that I think helped me win this award,” Welch says. “I believe being a positive influence and advocate for our students, staff and community every day helped me win the award. I have put in place a few initiatives that I highlighted in my application. These included starting student trips to Miller’s assisted-living complex. I wanted our students to be able to learn from others, and I think this also helped their communication skills and helped the students develop empathy for others.”
Welch believes that he could not have won the award if not for the amazing staff at Riverside, and the great community support.
“People have bought in to the great things that Plymouth Community Schools does every day, and I have been given the opportunity to lead people in this corporation,” he says.
Welch has been at Riverside for nine years. He spent three years there as a fifth-grade language arts and social studies teacher, and six years as the assistant principal.
Welch believes the 2021-2022 school year was special because students and staff were able to get back to a mostly normal school year.
“Students were walking the halls and able to participate in all activities,” he says. “It was refreshing to see students’ faces walking through our building and be able to interact with them.”
Welch studied elementary education at Ball State from 2008 to 2012.
“While at Ball State I spent a lot of time my junior and senior year at Wes-Del Elementary School,” he says. “Initially I volunteered at after-school programs and in classrooms when my schedule allowed. I ended up student teaching in a second-grade classroom under Mrs. Lisa Teagle. I had a great experience and had great mentors during this time. I ended up being hired as a fourth-grade teacher at Wes-Del in 2012 for the 2012-2013 school year. This time in my life taught me so much and it really became the bedrock for who I am as an educator today.”
Welch has some positive plans and goals for the next school year.
“We have some exciting, positive incentive programs we are looking to continue to roll out at Riverside,” Welch says. “One of the highlights of my job is being able to find ways to celebrate student success. We are continuing to work to enhance and push our students academically. Being able to watch students learn and grow is always at the forefront.”
Welch is extremely thankful to the Plymouth community.
“I thank the students, staff, parents and all stakeholders,” he says. “Plymouth Community Schools is a fantastic place for parents to send their students every day, and that is because of the amazing people who work in all of our schools. As a Plymouth High School alum, it makes me proud to be a part of the community where all people can have such a positive impact on our youth. I am privileged to be able to come to a job every day where I can work to make a positive impact on others.”