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Bayfield High School names new principal

Previously a K-12 principal in Norwood, Sam Ryan has background as media arts and business teacher, clinical counselor
The front entrance area of Bayfield High School. (Matt Hollinshead/Durango Herald file)

Bayfield High School has a new principal entering the 2024-25 school year.

After a monthslong search, the Bayfield School District Board of Education on Tuesday approved Sam Ryan, who previously worked as a K-12 principal in Norwood to be hired as BHS’s next principal, according to a news release on the district’s website. Norwood is about 30 miles northwest of Telluride.

Ryan, an Ohio native, also served as a media arts and business teacher from 2014 to 2018, and he also holds credits in clinical counseling and career and technical education, the release said. He served as a director of instructional technology and was a district-level administrator at various districts across Ohio, the release added.

“Mr. Ryan is an experienced educator and administrator who is familiar with the unique benefits and challenges of delivering a quality education in rural Colorado,” Bayfield Superintendent Leon Hanhardt said. “His background has prepared him perfectly for this position, and the interview committee immediately felt he is the right fit for our school and community.”

Ryan, who worked in Norwood for the past three years, said in the release his experience working with students from kindergarten through high school helped him become a more well-rounded administrator and learn how to handle different challenges that may come with overseeing each grade.

“Getting to be part of the process and see education unfold from kindergarten to graduation has given me a perspective and respect for the process that happens at all schools and all levels,” he said. “I started as a secondary teacher, but I’ve really appreciated this process. It has been good.”

Ryan also said in the release that he was drawn to educational resources Bayfield has to offer for students and staff members, as well as hiking and other outdoor recreation opportunities in the Four Corners.

“After working in a much smaller district, I’m also looking forward to working with a full team of folks to make things happen for students,” he said.


An earlier version of this story incorrectly said Sam Ryan previous worked in Norwood, Ohio. He worked in Norwood, Colorado.

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