Ryan Bruder made his first appearance at a Board of Education meeting after Dexter Community Schools officials announced that they would hire him to become the permanent building principal at Bates Elementary School last week.
The job had previously been held by Tim Authier, who left DCS abruptly late last summer for a job in another school district. Subsequently, the district placed popular Saline Area Schools administrator Jesse Stevenson as interim principal for a year while a candidate search was conducted.
Bruder, who at one time walked the halls of Dexter Community Schools’ buildings as a pupil, seemed at home and in his element during the board meeting at which his hiring was put to a board vote, which Monday night was unanimous.
“I think just sitting here in this meeting and hearing the excitement in the room — this is why I wanted to be back here in Dexter,” Bruder said, after witnessing several spirited discussions on new teaching initiatives such as Evidence Based Literacy Instruction (EBLI) and Summit Basecamp, a radically different approach to middle school education.
Superintendent Chris Timmis gave Bruder a strong recommendation, noting a crowded field of candidates who vied for the top spot at Bates.
“The district received 147 applications for the position and interviewed 15 candidates,” Timmis said in his letter to the board. “Ryan Bruder was the selection of the committees and is the right leader for Bates Elementary.”
Timmis highlighted a couple of key selling points on the U of M and EMU grad’s resume, including his position as project basked learning coordinator and lead teacher at A2 STEAM in Ann Arbor after working his way up from elementary teaching.
Several teachers in attendance, some of whom had Bruder in their classroom in the earliest years of their career, spoke very positively of him based on his time as a teenage student.
“I remember him subbing — he was that kid that just had it all together,” said Juli Huddleston, Bates resource room teacher. Prior to those remarks, she also said that Bruder was “someone who would join the family and keep that family feel alive for us at Bates.”
Several other teachers chatted about their memories of Bruder during the meeting. One of them recalled that he was a good citizen in the student body and set a good example, even going so far as to exert his natural authority over his fellow students who were not being good citizens.
“He said that’s just not what we’re doing right now (to other kids who were acting out of line), he just had this way about him … at 14,” one teacher said.
Another pointed out that Bruder was her student body president.
For more of Bruder’s background and more detail on the recommendation to hire him, see the below embedded document.
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