Ryan Silver

Ryan Silver, Nelson Mandela Principal
Ryan Silver
Nelson Mandela Elementary School

Appointed as the founding Principal of Nelson Mandela Elementary School in May 2023, Ryan Silver brings tremendous skill and vision to Newark Board of Education's instructional program. Before his tenure with Newark Public Schools, Ryan made significant contributions as the Assistant Superintendent in New York City. His diverse career path has seen him in roles as a Visual Arts and Social Studies teacher, district Humanities Director, and Principal. Amidst his professional commitments, Silver finds solace in his personal hobbies of fishing, cooking and practicing law at his New Jersey-based law clinic, where he is just as dedicated and passionate.

From very early Ryan Silver knew that he wanted to be a teacher. As a student at Maple Avenue School, Mrs. Newby, his first grade teacher, would send him home with chalk in order for him to practice his penmanship - a reason why young Silver often stayed after school many days. In 2006 Silver's dream of being an educator came true when he began his career in Newark as a teacher of visual arts. With the vision of being a world-class educator Silver joined the National Writing Project and began teaching English Language Arts and Public Speaking at Newark's American History High School.

Mr. Silver became a principal in New York City in 2016 leading a turnaround project in the heart of District 9, one of the poorest congressional districts in the country. During that time, Silver led his staff and students to nearly 100% proficiency on the New York State Regents Exam in Algebra and over 80% on the New York State Common Core Exam in English Language Arts. Silver is an impassioned leader and believes that any school can be excellent when the vision is clear and the bar is high.

Silver is a graduate of Rutgers University, Kean University Graduate School, Harvard University Graduate School of Education and Rutgers University Law School.