When Principal Ryan Melis began his ICS career, he had no idea he was going to end up as the principal of one of the premier transfer high schools in New York City.
After joining ICS in 2011 as a substitute teaching assistant, Melis has worn a variety of different hats within the organization. He’s done it all from subbing, teaching assistant, teacher, team leader, after-school supervisor, assistant principal and now finally as Principal of New Ventures. Mr. Melis’s achievements within the organization are a true testament to his work ethic and his infectious positive attitude.
“I really found my first love in the classroom, teaching students,” expressed Melis, “But, I didn’t find my purpose until I came to New Ventures.” New Ventures, with it’s unique approach to education, often requires its educators to find out-of-box solutions to reach students who have had difficulty succeeding in a traditional classroom setting.
“We want to give them [the students] a second chance or an additional opportunity to further their options beyond high school. The environment we have here too helps them open up doors and pathways to their futures—that makes me wake up every day and come to work with a smile.”
Despite their recent achievement of having the 2nd highest graduation rate among transfer high schools for the 2017-2018 school year, Melis considers seeing his students succeed beyond high school as his biggest accomplishment.
“There are students that haven’t enjoyed coming to school. To see them now learning, having fun, coming back and getting on the right track towards graduation — every day that’s just the most rewarding feeling.”
His philosophy for education is to teach real-world applications alongside the four core content areas. Melis believes that by teaching this way, students are best prepared for meaningful success.
With his first year as principal almost complete, Melis looks ahead towards the growth and expansion of New Ventures Charter School.
“Even beyond proven success, we provide an environment of supportive, hands-on project-based learning experiences that teach students not only how to be successful in school but on the outside as well,” he says.