While his classmates were busy taking care of business as usual on Friday at Manse Elementary School, fifth grader Ryan Stoddard had a full schedule of meetings and tours of Nye County School District facilities, along with a luncheon with Nevada District 36 Assemblyman James Oscarson.
Stoddard even managed to squeeze in a press conference with Pahrump media outlets.
Stoddard earned the privilege by using his voracious appetite for reading books.
So far, he has read more than 4 million words.
The feat was more than enough to him with the title of the district’s “Superintendent of the Day.”
Sporting a teal-colored dress shirt and spiffy necktie, Stoddard said he accepted the challenge at the beginning of the fall semester.
He also noted that his grades are pretty solid.
“I read about 120 books and it took me at least the entire school year,” he said. “My grades are mostly A’s and B’s and my favorite subjects are reading, science and a little bit of math.”
Stoddard, who wants to become a mechanic in a few years, said he’d first like to pursue a career in aviation.
He gave much credit to his parents for accomplishing his latest feat.
“My parents were really encouraging me, so without them, I could not have done this,” he said. “I like to work with my dad on different projects. He said he was really proud and my mom said so too. My classmates just congratulated me and said wow, that’s like, cool.”
Being temporarily relegated to “Chauffeur of the Day” on Friday, District Superintendent Dale Norton said the “Superintendent of the Day” designation has been in place for more than three years.
He gave credit to Manse Elementary School Principal Kyle Lindberg for collaborating with him on the idea.
“Mr. Lindberg set up a scenario of two million words in order to become ‘Principal of the Day,’ which Ryan was not too long ago,” Norton said. “Having been a teacher with me when I was principal of Manse Elementary School, Mr. Lindberg and I built up a great relationship. He really encourages reading with the accelerated reading program and it’s an easy way to keep track of where the kids are progressing with their reading.”
Additionally, Norton said the idea can actually motivate other students to excel in reading.
“This could help spur other kids to read more,” he said. “Manse has a wall of fame where those accomplishments are posted and are permanent so they are there for a long time. I’m glad I can reward the students and showcase them.”
Following the press conference, Stoddard and Norton met with staff at the district office and toured the transportation department.
The delegation took a lunch break at Red Sky BBQ with Assemblyman Oscarson.
“We took Ryan as well as some employees from the Nye County School District offices to lunch because they did a good job in helping us do some transitioning,” he said. “At the end of the day, Ryan went back to the middle school again to actually have a one-on-one with the administration out there, before returning back to Manse.”