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Principal Ryan strives to shape culture

Photo by Bryce Owen ’17 | Principal Mr. Bob Ryan thanks former Mayor of Phoenix Mr. Paul Johnson after speaking to students during a lunchtime Summit presentation March 7. Mr. Ryan oversses school operations and makes sure the school sticks to its core values.

By Graham Armknecht ’18

On campus, Principal Mr. Bob Ryan’s job is to oversee operations at the school, as well as to keep the culture and mission intact.

“My job is to implement the mission and vision of the school in terms of the day to day operations,” Mr. Ryan said. “I oversee all school operations, as well as leading a team of administrators to help the school run smoothly.”

However, outside of just his primary job description, Mr. Ryan sees his role as a primary influence on campus culture.

“I feel a real responsibility for the culture of our school,” Mr. Ryan said. “I think that’s an important part. I help to cultivate, tend, and influence the culture. I’m a big believer that culture in an organization is predicated of the people in an organization. We can write all the handbooks and have the policy meetings that we want, and those matter. But the people implementing them and living by them will say a lot.”

Since Mr. Ryan manages the culture at Brophy, he said the biggest example of this year was Nov. 9 following this year’s election, and what was on his mind before that prayer service.

“I refer to those moments as mission moments,” Mr. Ryan said. “They are moments in the life of the community.  What was going through my mind was what I expressed to everyone really. Coming off of an awful campaign and election season, and then walking onto campus and experiencing the level of anxiety that I had never seen, for 17 years, I felt that saying nothing would have been more detrimental than saying something.”

His assistant, Mrs. Ann Wolf, says that he is trying to help the culture now by trying to maintain Brophy’s Jesuit identity with the declining availability of Jesuit priests.

“He tries to maintain and grow the Ignatian identity of the school, which is difficult in a time of having only two Jesuits on campus.”

Mrs. Wolf followed up saying that he keeps in touch with the culture by being in a Loyola Academy classroom one period a day.

Keegan Spotts ’20, who was in his class at Loyola Academy, said that Mr. Ryan always made sure that everyone was on the same page.

“Our class with him was language skills and the basics of grammar,” Spotts said. “As a teacher, he’s always asking do you understand this, do you need to go over this?”