The Garner-Hayfield-Ventura School Board of Directors named 2015 Clear Lake graduate Ryan Schmalen as their new activities director at their April meeting.
Ryan will take over for Matt Graham, who announced he would step down at the end of this year. Though Graham is leaving the activities director position, he will stay in the district as a business teacher and will assist Schmalen through his first year.
Schmalen just recently began his teaching career following graduation and is already stepping into an administrative role. He thinks it will be beneficial and will bring fresh ideas.
Ryan was a multisport athlete for the Lions. He was a three-time state place winner in wrestling and would later wrestle at Upper Iowa University. He was also a member of the 2013 and 2015 Clear Lake baseball teams, which won state titles. Though his background is primarily in sports, Schmalen says he’s excited to support all activities at GHV.
Ryan is coming from Janesville, where he taught middle school physical education and high school health. He was also an assistant girls track coach and helped out with the scoreboard and public address duties for other home sporting events. In the past, he has also helped coach the Denver, Iowa wrestling team. With these experiences, he will relate to coaches at GHV to give them help and support. He also noted listening to coaches and mentors for guidance and ideas. One of those mentioned mentors will be Graham, according to Schmalen.
It’s an unprecedented time at GHV, along with Graham leaving his post. High school principal Jim Haag and superintendent Tyler Williams will also not return next year. As for Williams’ replacement, GHV hired Ken Kasper, who is currently the shared superintendent for East Union and Murray school districts. Schmalen says he hasn’t talked with Kasper yet but knows he will be another person he can lean on. Kasper is a former football and track coach at Forest City.
Schmalen will come to Garner and observe a track meet soon. Along with his duties as AD, Ryan will also be the middle school physical education instructor.
Zarren Egesdal is the sports director for Coloff Media radio stations KIOW and KHAM. He can be reached daily at firstname.lastname@example.org or 641-585-1073. Do you have a story idea? Feel free to contact him. Zarren is an award-winning journalist providing coverage to all area schools. Throughout the year, you will hear Zarren calling games as the ‘voice of the Forest City Indians’ on KIOW (107.3), the Indians flagship station.