Laurie Ryan leaving Niles after two years
By By DAN WEISS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- With two full school years under her belt as a high school athletic director, Laurie Ryan is departing Niles for a larger school system.
Ryan, who has served as the athletic director at Niles Community Schools for the past two school years, accepted the position of Athletic Director at Forest Hills Central High School in Grand Rapids.
Ryan, who began her stint at Niles with the hiring of Denny Parks as the varsity boys basketball coach, was initially surprised at being selected for the position at Forest Hills Central.
From now until the end of August, Ryan plans to split her days between Niles and Forest Hills Central. She hopes to carry Niles through until a replacement is hired.
Law plans to post the open position today on the internet and among the school district's current employees. The interview process will begin within two weeks and Law hopes to have a new athletic director in place within a month.
Besides Parks, Ryan also hired Dave Janicki to be the varsity boys track coach and several other varsity coaches.
Among her other accomplishments while at Niles were the Character Counts program, a scholarship program for student-athletes and the Wormburner Open, a golf scramble that raised more than $10,000 for the athletic department in each of its two years.
Those coaches are what Ryan said she will miss the most about Niles.
The administration at Niles also made the decision to leave a difficult one for Ryan.
Forest Hills Central, a Class A school, will bring more responsibilities for Ryan but she said she's ready for the challenge.