High marks for teamwork at Hamilton Elementary
Lots of things have stood out for principal Eric Bryan in his eight years at the helm of Hamilton Elementary School, but perhaps none so much as the collaboration he has witnessed between all the school's various stakeholders.
“The relationships between staff, administration and our school board is amazing,” Bryan told West Central Reporter. “Together, we have created a culture that people want to be a part of, students want to be successful, and parents are able to trust the process. The favorite part of my job is seeing the look on a student’s face when they achieve, whether it be academically or in athletics.”
Bryan became principal of Hamilton Elementary in 2011. He has worked at numerous schools in the state including Northwestern High School in Sciota, where he attended high school. He has held many roles throughout his career such as math teacher, physical education teacher, athletic director and assistant regional superintendent. He has also coached baseball, basketball, football and track.
Bryan’s goals as principal are to create a safe and positive learning environment for all students, as well as control the number of obstacles that prevent teachers from being able to properly do their jobs.
“Teachers and students perform much better in the classroom if they are happy,” Bryan said.
Bryan said that one of the biggest challenges currently facing the school is parental involvement.
“We are always trying to find better ways to get parents involved in their child’s education,” he said. “There is a huge correlation with student achievement and parental involvement.”
Bryan was born in Macomb and spent most of his childhood growing up in Good Hope. He has spent the last 19 years living in Carthage. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Western Illinois University.
“I started out in college looking to go into business,” Bryan said. “I began coaching junior high baseball my freshman year to make some extra money and fell in love with it. After my first semester, I changed my major and went into education. I realized that teaching and coaching young people and making an impact on their lives was what I wanted to do for a living.”
Outside of his principal duties, Bryan serves on the Hancock County Teen Court Board. He also does coaching when needed. He enjoys spending time with his family, playing card games, golfing and following his favorite sports teams, which are the Chicago Cubs, Denver Broncos and Boston Celtics.