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Clarkston Community School District

Superintendent Shawn Ryan Earns Doctorate Degree

Superintendent Shawn Ryan Earns Doctorate Degree

On Friday, June 26, Clarkston Community Schools superintendent Shawn Ryan successfully defended his doctoral dissertation to a panel of Oakland University educators and Clarkston Community Schools' Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services Nancy Mahoney. The capstone project was entitled "The Case For The Application Of Hyper-Equity On Subgroup Achievement Gaps in Clarkston Community Schools."

"Shawn's capstone presentation was a culmination of research, data, genuine passion, and a strong plan to move our district forward in becoming a highly reliable district where all students achieve," Mahoney said. "I couldn't be more proud and happy for him."

Clarkston Community Schools Board of Education President Kelli Horst said, "When the Board hired Shawn in May, 2018, we knew we had the right leader for Clarkston Community Schools right in front of us, even without the doctoral degree. Still, he enthusiastically engaged in the opportunity to expand his knowledge as an educator. His dissertation is directly reflected in our strategic plan and will help continue to move our district toward an equitable education for all students."

The doctoral program Ryan completed is a 64-credit hour program with courses in leadership, strategic thinking, policy and governance, human relations, law, school finance, and operations. He will be officially awarded the degree of Doctor of Education by Oakland University on August 28, 2020.

Ryan began his teaching career in Clarkston in 1995. In his more than 25 years with the district, he has served as a science teacher, assistant principal, principal, deputy superintendent, and superintendent.

Ryan holds a master's degree in educational leadership from Eastern Michigan University and a bachelor's degree in biology and chemistry from St. Vincent College. He earned a teaching certification and Central Office Administration post-master's certification at Oakland University. His participation in the Oakland University Central Office Certification Program was recently featured by the university (Shawn Ryan: A Visionary School Leader).

Ryan's journey to earning a doctorate while concurrently serving as Clarkston's superintendent was particularly meaningful.

"At this point in my career, it was incredible to be able to link theory and practice as a doctoral student and as Clarkston's superintendent in an academic setting. The program allowed me to place 100% of my course and dissertation focus on the needs of Clarkston Schools," said Dr. Ryan. "I was able to apply new thinking in so many different areas with a diverse set of colleagues from both the education setting and executive officers in many different non-profit companies."

On behalf of the Board of Education, staff, and students of Clarkston Community Schools, we are proud to congratulate our superintendent, Dr. Shawn Ryan, on this extraordinary achievement.

About Clarkston Community Schools: Clarkston is a highly regarded school district with an enrollment of nearly 7,100 students. We have seven elementary schools (K-5), one middle school serving grades 6-7, one junior high for grades 8-9, and Clarkston High School, which serves students in grades 10-12. We also have an Early Childhood Center serving children ages 3-5, and an alternative high school/community education facility. Clarkston Community Schools students are well-prepared for a future that excites them, and believe that they can achieve their dreams. The mission of Clarkston Community Schools is to create a learning environment where students, staff, and families are challenged, healthy, engaged, safe, and supported.

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Media Contact: Mary Ellen Rowe, Marketing Director (248) 623-5460.