Oxford School District announces Suzanne Ryals as new Director of Early Childhood and Reading Development

Published 10:10 am Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Oxford School District

“The gift of reading is one of the best gifts we can give our children,” says Suzanne Ryals, who is the newly named Director of Early Childhood and Reading Development for the Lafayette-Oxford-University community. Ryals begins her new position on July 1, 2017, leaving her position as Bramlett Elementary School principal, a position being filled by Keri Jo Finnie.

In Ryals’ new role, she will work to improve outcomes for all students by developing, organizing, implementing, coordinating and evaluating the new early childhood and literacy development program for the LOU community.

OSD Superintendent Brian Harvey says that Ryals is the most natural and perfect fit for this new position because of her familiarity with early childhood education.

“Ms. Ryals’ experience and expertise in early childhood education are the reason for her selection to this most important position,” Harvey said. “We are excited about the opportunity to work with daycares and childcare centers throughout the county.”

As the new Director of Early Childhood and Reading Development, Ryals will work to identify the needs of the community to expand prekindergarten opportunities, while coordinating professional development for community preschool teachers and teacher assistants.

“I am looking forward to advocating for the young children in our community to create more early learning opportunities that will strengthen reading development in our youngest citizens,” says Ryals. “I am excited to be involved in this great work in our community.”

Ryals will work with entities such as First Steps and Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi to create an early intervening plan for the community to ensure a seamless system of support exists for area families and children. She also plans to work closely with various community groups to promote opportunities for parent success within the three-focus areas of school readiness, school attendance and summer learning, as well as third-grade reading proficiency.

The new position will also put her in the leadership position for the LOU Reads Campaign for Grade-Level Reading Coalition. Ryals says she is excited about collaborating with community partners to create momentum in this area for Oxford’s youngest residents.

She adds, “I am excited to be involved in this great work in our community.”