Woodward Elementary School staff and students got musical Tuesday as they sang a song to thank Principal Ryan Malany for everything he’s done before he departs the district this summer.
The performance came at the end of the annual Pacer Awards, where students are recognized for positive attitudes and attendance, and they are presented with certificates from their teachers.
Woodward Administrative Assistant Michelle King presented Malany his own Pacer award for being “someone in this building who believes in all of us.”
“(Malany) has been here for us this year and has fought for us as much as possible,” King said.
Malany was presented with a piece of artwork with fingerprints of every students at Woodward, and the students sang a rendition of “Don’t Give Up On Me” by Andy Grammer for him.
“(This is) the last time I get to stand in front of you and tell you all how special you are,” Malany said after the performance. “I want you to hear it and feel it, and know that I love you and I will absolutely never forget all the smiles in this room and the successes that you’ve had. I am so excited to hear about the successes you are getting ready to have. I’ve been proud to be your principal. I’ve been proud to walk in these halls with you.”
Malany also addressed parents who came to the event Tuesday, telling them he was proud of their kids.
“Parents, you’ve got wonderful kids,” he said. “You know it, but I get to see it every day. I’m proud of them for who they are, and I’m proud of who they are getting ready to be. It’s been a wonderful school year. Thank you for this opportunity.”
Malany took the principal position in 2015 and is leaving the district this summer after accepting a position as principal of Jonathan Alder Junior High in Plain City.
“I am excited for this next chapter and enthusiastic to return to the middle age learners,” Malany said in an email Friday. “I have certainly grown as an administrator during my time at Woodward and have such a wonderful story to tell about the students and people of Delaware!”
Malany said he’ll miss the enthusiasm of the students at Woodward.
“I will miss the eagerness of our students,” he said. “They are amazing. They arrive at school ready to work hard and excited to be Woodward Pacers! Their smiles, hugs, high fives, and fist bumps create such a contagious joy! I will miss that.”
As principal, Malany oversaw additions to Woodward and numerous community events at the school.
“I have loved watching Woodward grow,” he said. “We have expanded our walls and added students, staff and families. Beyond that, however, we have also grown in our instruction, our personalization of teaching kids in ways they learn, and in supporting students and families with their social and emotional needs. The Woodward staff and students have worked hard to grow our climate in positive ways and make it a wonderful place to work and learn.”
At its regular meeting on May 20, the Delaware City Schools Board of Education approved the hiring of Eric Barr as the new principal at Woodward. Barr will be leaving his position as principal of Northwood Elementary in Sidney to take the job at Woodward. At the meeting, Barr said Woodward is very similar to Northwood, and he was looking forward to becoming part of the school community.
“I’m really excited about the opportunity to join Delaware City Schools at Woodward Elementary,” Barr told the board on May 20. “It’s going to be a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to seeing the students and staff, and I wish them a wonderful summer.”
Malany said Friday that the staff and students at Woodward are a special group that he will miss.
“I have loved being part of Woodward,” he said. “It is truly a special place with a rich, proud, community-grounded history. Woodward Elementary is home to a special group of students and teachers who embody a growth mindset and are always working hard at getting better. I will miss that. We don’t always agree on everything we do, but we also know that that’s okay. It is truly a building who understands that our strength is in our diversity: different walks of life, different backgrounds, different schools of thought. At Woodward … we blend it all together, and it makes us a very special place.”
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.