Ryan Marzen said his excitement about becoming the new assistant principal at Perry Elementary School began building after he first began researching the opening.
“When I saw the diversity here, saw the richness of the culture here, I knew this was the place for me,” said the graduate of North Butler High School in Greene, Iowa. “This is exactly the kind of situation I wanted to be in, the kind of environment that has so much energy and potential.”
Marzen comes to Perry from Denison-Schleswig, where he taught first grade and served as both the varsity cross country head coach and as an assistant track coach for the Monarchs.
A devotee of triathlons, Marzen can be found running, cycling or swimming in his free time. He has competed in the Boston Marathon and recently completed the Iron Man Muncie (Indiana) 70.3 Triathlon.
He said he has no intention of continuing his young coaching career, insisting he wants “to focus all of my energy on being the best administrator I can be.”
Marzen will serve with Principal Ned Menke a student body split nearly in half between white students and students of color, with a large number of enrollees on free or reduced lunches, a sign of low incomes.
Rather than seeing those issues as challenges, Marzen said he sees opportunity.
“One of the things I love so much about elementary education is seeing kids being introduced to success in literacy and math and then watching their growth,” he said. “There is nothing here to prevent that, and I look forward to seeing that happen all the time here.
Marzen received his undergraduate degree at Buena Vista University and earned a master’s in PK-12 administration from South Dakota State University. He is currently working toward a doctorate — now in the dissertation phase — in educational leadership at Drake University.
“I look forward to building relationships with our staff and with people throughout the community,” Marzen said. “I am eager to meet people from the different parts of the Perry community and earning their trust and confidence.”