I first knew of Dr. Ralph Plagman when I was teaching at Hiawatha Elementary School and he was at Kennedy. He was then one of a highly regarded group of local social studies teachers engaged in innovative approaches well received by students and academics alike. He was one of the founders, and eventually principal, of Metro High School, where I had the pleasure of teaching. During my lifetime as an educator I’d have to say he is one of the best teachers and educational administrators I’ve ever met.
Dr. Plagman built a community of learners at Metro. He was constantly looking for ways to help improve our teaching and our relationships with the students and their families. He encouraged all of us, students and teachers, to do the same.
I was amazed at his ability to remember the names of all of our students and often, their situations. It seems he was able to do the same at a much larger school. It is just one demonstration of his commitment to all students, not just a few who stand out for a variety of reasons.
I do not know anything about the situation that prompted Dr. Plagman’s resignation, but I do know that he was dedicated to quality education and student welfare at Kennedy, Metro, Washington and throughout the Cedar Rapids School District.