Ryan A. Gleason

Yarmouth Elementary School
Yarmouth School Department
Yarmouth, Maine

Colleagues call Ryan A. Gleason an ethical leader and exemplary educational role model who is a self-reflective and creative problem solver. As principal of Yarmouth Elementary School for the past five years, Gleason has put these qualities to work to improve literacy and shift school culture toward a more systematic approach to behavioral intervention. Taking an empowering approach to professional development, Gleason invites the teachers he works with to co-lead the improvement process through the stewardship of a comprehensive strategic literacy plan, close collaboration with a lead literacy teacher, and participation in Teachers College, a summer partnership with Columbia University that allows participants to share instructional learnings and insights with their colleagues. These efforts, combined with a hands-on approach to feedback and observation, and the implementation of a Writers Workshop model that centers on student interest and ownership of the writing process, have led to demonstrated gains in reading and writing. Drawing on his extensive experience implementing positive cultural initiatives, Gleason has initiated a shift toward a collaborative and proactive solutions approach to problem-solving with students, leading to a decrease in disciplinary referrals and an improved school culture that aligns with the school’s mission to “empower all learners to live fulfilling lives in a changing world.” Gleason holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Maine, a Master of Education from St. Joseph’s College, and an Assistant Principal Certificate from the University of Southern Maine.