Meet The Superintendent/Principal - Mr. Ron Harris
Meet The Superintendent/Principal
It is a pleasure to be a part of the Gardner Community and having the ability to serve the children and community! This community is blessed to have a wonderful staff at Gardner Grade School who have a sincere devotion to providing the best educational opportunities for ALL our students. In all my positions in my educational career this is the best staff I have had the opportunity to work with!
I grew up in the Quad Cities on the far western edge of Illinois. My junior year of high school my family relocated to San Antonio where I graduated from East Central High School. Ten days after graduating I entered the United States Air Force and was first stationed in Prum, West Germany for two years. I was then stationed back in San Antonio at Kelly Air Force Base where I spent 2 1/2 years. It was during the heat of Desert Storm and I was not allowed to exit until things calmed down. After separating with an honorable discharge I relocated back to the Quad Cities where I worked in a riverboat casino surveillance department, and then began taking classes at our local community college. I worked full time and attended school full time. After earning my associates degree from Black Hawk Community College I transferred to Marycrest International University in Davenport, Iowa majoring in Biology and minoring in secondary education. Again, all the while working third shift and attending school full time. After seven years of working in the surveillance room of a casino I graduated with a B.S. from Marycrest in Biology and began my teaching career at North Scott Junior High in Eldridge, Iowa. There I taught 7th and 8th grade Science and Health. After 2 years I was hired to teach junior high Math, Science and Reading at Colona Grade School just southeast of the Quad Cities. I also began pursuing my Master's Degree in educational administration at Western Illinois University. After completing my administrative internship Colona Grade School offered me my first principal role. Colona is a Pk-8 school district housing approximately 550 students. After two years of gaining valuable administrative experience I was offered the position of HIgh School Principal at Orion High School in Orion, Illinois. This was an excellent opportunity for me to learn and experience the educational setting for students from Pre-K through high school, as well as serving as the Olympic Conference Athletic President. After four years at Orion High School I was offered a principalship of a K-4 elementary school in East Moline, where I grew up. After three years at Hillcrest Elementary my superintendent asked met to transfer to Glenview Middle School, one of the largest middle schools in the state of Illinois. I accepted the challenge and opportunity. Glenview is a 5-8 middle school with approximately 1200 students and 180 staff. This school covered four city blocks and between the staff and students there are more people than the population of Gardner! During my six years in East Moline I completed my post graduate work in Educational Leadership at Western Illinois University and earned a Specialist Degree along with a superintendent endorsement. At this point I began looking for a district such as Gardner where the administrator is a combined superintendent and principal role. I was not ready in my career to separate myself from the daily interactions with students and staff, which is my favorite part of the job, so this dual role was just what I was looking for!
I have many hobbies which include playing the guitar, reading, golf, fishing, camping and basically doing everything I can to keep myself busy outdoors. I have two children, one daughter and a son. My daughter, Julia is a junior at Augustana College in Rock Island studying Biology and pre-med. My son, Jackson is a freshmen at a community college in Bettendorf, Iowa in a culinary program to be a chef.
I love my job greatly and feel blessed to be a part of the career of education. There is NEVER a day I get up in the morning and can't wait to get to school, or at the end of the day on Friday I cannot wait until Monday. I also feel blessed to be able doing what I love, and doing it in such a wonderful community of Gardner. .
I believe strongly in a pure "open door policy". If you ever have any questions or concerns PLEASE don't hesitate to contact me in the main office or via email. I will always take the time to listen to your concerns and answer any questions.
Gardner Grade School District 72c