Friday, September 21, 2018

Windham High welcomes new principal by Matt Pascarella

Ryan Caron is no stranger to Windham. Although he just took over as principal of the high school in July, Caron taught social studies as well as a contemporary issues class at Windham High from 1999-2006. He was also the freshman soccer and freshman and JV basketball coach as well as being an assistant varsity basketball coach during that time.

“It’s great to be back,’ Caron stated. “Although the role is a little different; it’s exciting to be among the students at Windham High once again.”

Many of Caron’s family work or have worked in education in some form or another. Initially, he walked in the footsteps of his ancestors but discovered that he had a different calling.

Caron attended the University of New England and started out in the Physical Therapy program, but soon discovered that was not for him. He switched to a pre-law track. He then took a liberal arts approach and got his degree in Liberal Studies with a full certification as a high school teacher. Caron used his college electives to get certified to teach Social Studies. He then got his Master’s in Educational Leadership. It was “a long way around to have a degree with some law bits and pieces to it...trying to be a high school social studies teacher I had quite a journey to find the classroom.”

Caron began at Spurwink in Casco working as an educational technician. He was then promoted to a special education teacher and then arrived at Windham High for the 1999-2000 school year.
“Teaching and coaching is a lot of fun – the level of impact you can have with individual students is amazing,” says Caron.

Evergreen AutoHe left Windham in 2006 to gain experience as an assistant principal. Caron had been encouraged by Deb McAfee, the high school principal at the time, as well as other faculty members to look into administration and assistant principal work. Taking their advice, Caron became assistant principal at Sacopee Valley High School in Hiram for several years and then became principal there for three years. He has been principal at South Portland High for the last five years.

Caron never considered the role of principal until he got the opportunity at Sacopee Valley. He took a one-year position as principal there to see if he liked it and, as it turned out, he did. When the principal position at Windham High School opened, Caron had to consider it – it was a great opportunity to come back where he started. hopes to continue the good work that’s been going on since he left. He and his team want to provide as many opportunities for kids as they can. He wants to take what he’s learned at other schools and apply it at Windham High School so the most benefit is available to kids, teachers and staff.

A Gorham resident, Caron grew up in a small town in Aroostook county. He loved high school and tried hard to take full advantage of it; a lesson he stresses to students. He met his wife in college and they have two children; a daughter in eighth grade and a son in third grade. Caron believes involvement is key. Between Gorham and Windham events, he also believes in supporting community. He enjoys spending time with friends and family.

“I’m happy to be here. I see my job as removing roadblocks for kids, parents and teachers. I love this community. I think there’s a lot of potential in the community and I want to try to maximize that potential.”

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