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Hanna Boys Center names new principal

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Hanna Boys Center, Sonoma Valley’s embattled residential treatment and education center for troubled youth, named a new education director and principal Monday for its affiliated school, Archbishop Hanna High School.

Mike Ruyle has been working with Hanna Boys Center since last fall as a consultant from Colorado-based Marzano Research, an education research and consulting company. He will replace longtime principal Dennis Crandall, who announced he will step down after 14 years as principal to focus on fundraising. Ruyle will work under Crandall’s leadership until he takes the helm in August.

Ruyle previously worked as a teacher in California and Montana and is credited with developing a new competency-based program for an alternative education track at Bozeman High School, according to a Hanna Boys Center news statement. He’s worked as a coach, served as an assistant principal and taught as an adjunct professor and presenter at Montana State University.

Ruyle joins Hanna Boys Center at a crucial time for the 73-year-old program for abused and neglected boys, still under state scrutiny after a sex abuse scandal came to light last year.

Criminal proceedings are continuing against a 14-year employee and one-time clinical director, Kevin Thorpe, who is accused of molesting at least four center clients over a 10-year period. The center is also facing an ongoing civil whistleblower lawsuit from a former employee who said he was wrongly fired for complaining about a lack of supervision over minors involved in bullying.

“This is a crucial time for us, and I’m optimistic that Mike can help us recast Archbishop Hanna High School into a model for alternative education, one that integrates the latest advancements in competency-based pedagogy, trauma-informed care, and Catholic educational values,” Hanna Boys Center CEO Brian Farragher said in a news statement.

You can reach Staff Writer Julie Johnson at 707-521-5220 or julie.johnson@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @jjpressdem.

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