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We Are Excited to Introduce

Ryan Eckart, current Principal of Jane Ball Elementary School has been named Principal for the new Red Cedars Elementary School, when Hanover welcomes the first students to the new school in the fall of 2022. 

man with two young students

Early on in his time at Hanover, Mr. Eckart established that good behavior by his students would be recognized.  Here, in 2017 Mr. Eckart thanked Alex Mason and Marcus Sichterman who gave up recess time to help in the cafeteria. 

man with boy and mask

Mr. Eckart and "Good News Call of the Day" recipient Wyatt,  placed a call to Wyatt's Mom to let her know that he had a very good day indeed!

Mr. Eckart was born and raised in a small coastal Maine town and is the son of college professors.  Despite being the child of educators, and once upon a time, education was not Mr. Eckart’s first choice.  He studied hospitability management at Michigan State and while a student there did an internship at Walt Disney World.  While in Florida he met his future wife, Kari, who is a native of Northwest Indiana.  It didn’t take long for Mr. Eckart to transfer to Valparaiso University where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education in 2003.  Mr. Eckart would go on to earn his Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction in 2008 from Purdue University, West Lafayette and a Master of Science in Educational Administration from Purdue University in 2012. He holds both Administration and Instructional licenses and anticipates completing his Doctorate in Education from Oakland City University this fall.  

Prior to his Administrator role at Jane Ball, Mr. Eckart served as Director of Elementary Education with Concord Community Schools in Elkhart, Indiana before coming to Hanover and Jane Ball for the 2017-2018 school year.  Kari and Ryan Eckart are residents of the Hanover community and have three of four daughters in Hanover schools. The fourth daughter will join Hanover as a kindergarten student in 2022 as he takes on his new position. 

man wiht wife and children

Ryan Eckart with his wife, Kari and daughters (l to r):  Emma, Kennede, Fenway and Natalie at the May 11th Board Meeting where his leadership role at Red Cedars Elementary School was announced.  

Unique to Mr. Eckart is his connection with students, staff and parents alike.  His firm belief that school should be ‘fun’ and school should be filled with opportunity has resonated throughout the school and community.  His personality and programs have made Jane Ball a school no one wants to leave.  Parents, and teachers have all affirmed that his energy and positivity know no bounds. Among the many initiatives he has added and maintained at Jane Ball, are positive behavior recognitions, a robotics club and an enduring emphasis on literacy and technology.  Mr. Eckart connects with students after hours through his “Monday Night Read Aloud,” on Facebook which often includes one of his daughters joining him and allows his students and his parents to see him beyond his role as Principal and sharing his role as “girl Dad.” 

man pointing at books

Mr. Eckart promotes literacy at every opportunity, including during the summer of 2018 when he recommended some book choices for his students to read during the break.  

boy on phone with principal watching

Mr. Eckart has brought his love of technology and student involvement a long way since this early photo.  In 2017, Mr. Eckart is seen with Mitch Remaly reading announcements through the intercom system.  In 2021 a team of students utilize YouTube to broadcast announcements virtually into every classroom on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  

In addition to the ‘fun,’ Mr. Eckart has inspired his staff to be more, to be better than they think they can be.  His continued participation in the greater education community includes numerous state, national and international speaking engagements and through that participation he has continued to lead his staff and encourage them to stretch their teacher imaginations and never stop being students themselves. 

We, at Hanover, are both pleased and proud to have Mr. Eckart take on the important role as Principal of a brand-new school that will be uniquely situated and designed to prepare upper elementary students to make the transition to Middle School and to enter that environment with an eagerness to learn and confident in their capabilities to do so.

If you are the parent of an elementary school child and you have not yet had contact with Mr. Eckart, you should know that his winning smile, unusual sneakers and enthusiasm is only a tiny part of what he will bring to the future learning experience of your child.  He will, above all else, care about your child and dedicate every school day to making sure they learn to love learning.

man dressed like Mr. Rodgers

Mr. Eckart dressed as Mr. Rodgers in 2017.  Welcome to your new neighborhood at Red Cedars in 2022 Mr. Eckart!