New Athletic Director is No Stranger to the Valley

A photo of Carley RyanSchoharie CSD’s new athletic director is no stranger to our valley. 

A 2015 graduate of Middleburgh CSD, Carley Ryan began teaching elementary school there in 2019 after attending Wells College. Ryan was an adversary against Schoharie on the court and athletic fields as an all-star player and, later, as a coach for the Knights.

Has there been any fallout from her move 7 miles up state Route 30?

“I hear a lot of it already,” Ryan said. “Middleburgh fans weren’t thrilled to see me wearing a Schoharie hoodie at a Middleburgh game. However, the Middleburgh School District and community have been encouraging and supportive towards me.”

Ryan’s path to Schoharie CSD actually began in July, when she served as the principal for the BOCES program that was hosted here over the summer. This helped her get acquainted with the Jr./Sr. High School and gave her a headstart on building relationships with staff. 

The athletic position opened up when Dave Russell moved to assistant jr./sr. high school principal for the 2023-24 school year.

“I love kids, I love teaching, I love education, I love sports, there was no way around accepting the offer,” she said.

A three-sport high school and college athlete, Ryan said she is excited to begin building relationships with all students at Schoharie – not just those who play sports. 

“I want to know the names of students whether they are athletes or not,” she said.

But she did say she will look to encourage participation in interscholastic athletics from among those students who may not have considered it before. 

“Sports can be a second home,” she added, noting the benefits for physical and mental health; having a “sports family;” and teaching perseverance.

“You literally get knocked down and have to get back up. That’s what life is like,” Ryan said. 

Interscholastic athletics also promote personal accountability in terms of academic eligibility. 

“You are a student first, you are an athlete second,” she said.

Ryan cites her high school coach Gregg Johns, Dave Russell and Middleburgh Elementary Principal Amy Irwin as inspirations. 

“Gregg was my high school coach and his wife was also my high school coach. They played a very big role in my learning experiences in athletics, leadership and life.” Ryan said.