CARROLLWOOD — When Ryan Kelly's flight landed in Tampa from Idaho, things just felt right.
For one, there was the weather. A snowstorm in Idaho delayed takeoff. After getting airborne, Kelly landed to a chamber of commerce day in Tampa.
"When I got there, it was literally a breath of fresh air," Kelly said. "I just had that feeling in me that this is going to work out."
That snowy day only reminded Kelly why he came to interview for the job of principal of the high school at Carrollwood Day School, where he takes over in July.
Kelly, a certified IB chemistry and math teacher, worked two years at the Riverstone International School in Boise. This is the only accredited IB school in Idaho. There, he was director of the upper levels of the K-12 private school and also taught chemistry and math courses.
But Kelly, 35, said he and his wife, Heather, are ready to start a family. They have two dogs, Max and Maggie. Tampa's tropical climate seemed idyllic to Kelly, who has lived in Idaho, Colorado and Oregon.
"I'm really looking forward to not moving for a while," Kelly said. "It's bittersweet for me to leave Riverstone, but I think Carrollwood is going to be a tremendous fit for me."
Mary Kanter, head of the private school, said the search for a new principal was spurred because the school is increasing enrollment and programming. Kelly stuck out because of his IB credentials, his national certification and his knack for Macs.
"He is also young and energetic and passionate about education," Kanter said.
Jared Leone can be reached at
[email protected] or (813) 269-5314.