WARREN - Claymont Schools Superintendent Ryan Delaney said he often will ask individuals he is interviewing for jobs to tell him a joke. He wants to hear some of the humor he enjoys in his schools and which are part of his many speaking occasions to those in the teaching profession.
Delaney's humor came across in his story of how he decided to take on the challenge of making a difference in Newark Schools as an administrator.
While the topic was a serious one during the recent gathering of the Trumbull County Area Reading Council held at Enzo's Restaurant in Warren, Delaney shared many ways to make the teaching profession a meaningful and important one for teachers and their students.
Now superintendent of Claymont City Schools, Delaney said team-building is important.
"I was at Ben Franklin Elementary School (in Newark) and showed the teachers that they could make a difference there," he said, noting at the time that 100 percent of the students were on free lunch and the school was in academic emergency status.
Delaney said there are three types of people - go-getters, minimalists and refusals. The go-getters will do all they can and more, minimalists will do some, and refusals often nothing.
"At my school, I give 50 compliments a day. I want my staff to be a positive influence on their students and always tell them to leave personal problems at home," he said.
He said he always encourages the teachers to try something new.
"Happy teachers means happy students. I want teachers not to be afraid to try something new and reach as high as they can," he said.
Delaney said children want you to show them that you care.
He said he has found that children who like their teacher and know their teacher cares will work more.
It was what helped improve the district, getting it out of academic emergency and into higher test scores, he said.