Ryan Myers said his investment in the Bowling Green community is leading him to run for a seat on the Bowling Green City Schools Board of Education.
Myers was appointed in November to fill the seat vacated by Bill Clifford.
“I’ve loved it but there are a lot of things I didn’t expect,” he said about the past year.
During the coronavirus pandemic, he said he wasn’t given a lot of opportunity to discuss why he ran for the seat in 2019.
“I wanted to get in and have a conversation about curriculum and facilities,” he said.
Myers came in sixth in the eight-person race for three open seats in November 2019.
“All I ever wanted to do was be in leadership and education,” he said about why he wants to retain his seat on the board.
“I really love the idea of leadership. It’s something that has always intrigued me,” said Myers, who has principal and superintendent licensures.
Myers has spent more than 22 years in education. The last nine years have been spent supervising the special education programs at Penta Career Center in Perrysburg.
He said he wants to put conversations into practice.
“I am completely invested in the community of Bowling Green. I want to make the school district as good as it possibly can, not only for my kids but for my friends that live here. I know we can get better and I’m looking forward to being a part of that as one of the leaders in the district,” Myers said.
He said his ability to listen helps him on the board. He may go into a situation with an opinion or perspective, but he doesn’t let that dictate the conversation. When he disagrees, he does it with respect, he said.
He has compromised and collaborated with other board members.
In the past 10 years, he has worked with more than 40 districts and hundreds of employees, which has led to networking opportunities not accessible to others.
“As I look at issues and questions I have, I have a pretty good network of professionals I can call on.”
As an example, before Bowling Green decided to return to face-to-face learning, he started asking questions within this network and brought the responses back to the board.
“That networking is a huge asset to Bowling Green,” he said.
As for the masks, right now they should be required.
“I am looking forward to the day we can go backwards and say masks are optional,” and then say no masks are required, he said.
The quarantine and isolation guidelines have been set by the Wood County Health Department and wearing masks will keep students from being sent home, he said.
“By not masking, we’re asking for students to be out of school not only due to sickness but close contact,” Myers said. “It is imperative we do everything we can to keep kids in school.”
Bowling Green was the only school in Wood County that taught remotely during most of the 2020-21 school year.
With the learning loss that occurred last year from remote teaching, is it imperative that students remain in school, he said.
Myers in on the core committee that is currently looking at facilities and he said he will support the decision made by the group, which has nearly 80 members.
“We’re really examining everything with our school buildings,” he said, including instructional needs and size.
He is not sharing his opinion as a board member with the group.
“I want the decision and the recommendation from the large group to happen organically. The ultimate goal is the address the buildings in a way beneficial to staff and community.”
Myers said he would give the district a B- based on current conditions.
Facilities are severely lacking as a whole and are inadequate compared to almost every surrounding district. The district has tremendous teachers and staff who have done an incredible job with poor facilities and remote learning.
“As a district we have a lot of work to do, academically and curriculum wise,” he said. “There is a lot of room for improvement … now is the time to make a plan and look at goals and set benchmarks to improve the district.”
Myers said he is not deterred by finishing sixth in the election two years ago. There were a lot of options at that time and he had a hard time trying to get people to know who he was.
Since then, the community has gotten to know him and how he advocates for kids, he said.
Being on the board this past year has been an advantage.
“They (voters) know what they are getting.”
Serving on the school board is also personal to Myers. He is a taxpayer, a community member and has two children in the school system. He also coaches in the city.
“This is very personal to me to make Bowling Green City Schools as best as possible.”