Office of the Principal

Principal's Message

Dear Saddle River and Ramsey Families,

When I first arrived at Ramsey High School in 2017, I was told by numerous staff members, administrators, retirees, and community members that Ramsey is a special place because of those who came before us and the families that send their children to our schools.

We stand on the shoulders of giants,” was a phrase that I heard over and over again.  I took those sage and sincere words to heart.  For the past six school years, it has been the absolute privilege of my professional career to serve the Ramsey Learning Community.  I love every minute of working with staff, students, families, and I CANNOT WAIT to continue the next chapter of my educational career as Principal of Smith Middle School. 

Every single day I work as hard as I possibly can to lead by example and live up to the well-earned reputation of Ramsey School District.  We have worked tirelessly since August 2022 to rebuild Smith Middle School, brick by brick, to bring a sense of joy to working with young adolescents, to be prideful of and intentional with our instruction, and to build positive and professional relationships with our students and their families.  

My Principalship will focus on collaboratively cultivating a nurturing atmosphere where students, faculty, administrators, and families can walk our hallways and feel respected, cared about, and valued as integral members of the Ramsey Public School family.  Structure, routine, clear and consistent expectations, and relationships based upon unconditional positive regard will be the cornerstones of our building. 

We strive for an innovative education that uses data to drive individualized and differentiated instruction and also encourages our educators to facilitate authentic opportunities for students to explore and make meaning out of their education.  Although we will work with subject Supervisors and Ramsey High School to create a cohesive 6-12 Ramland experience, the basis of our experience will truly be a Middle Level education that embraces and supports the unique challenges of young adolescents.  Most importantly, we will educate the whole child by connecting with each student, and creating a learning environment that is safe, welcoming, consistent, and amicable.  

On a personal level, I want to earn the right to be considered a community leader in Ramsey.  I want to be a pillar of stability for the most challenging physical, emotional, and social changes of a child’s life.  I want to be a person that families can look to for guidance during difficult times and I want to fervently cheer on the successes of our students. 

Every single day of the last 20 years of my life has been devoted to becoming a leader.  Now, more than ever, I will treasure the opportunity to bring Smith Middle School to the leading edge of education.  I am humbled and honored to serve as the Principal of Smith Middle School.  

With the utmost gratitude and unbridled enthusiasm,

Dr. Ryan W. Esdale

Eric S. Smith Middle School
Ramsey School District


Dr. Ryan Esdale

Eric S. Smith Middle School

Mrs. Laura Scerbo

201-785-2313 x22503