The Robert Land Academy Board of Governors is pleased to announce that Lieutenant Colonel (retired) Ryan Smid will take command of the Academy as Headmaster effective August 10, 2020.

LCol Smid has served in uniform most of his life, retiring in 2018 from the Canadian Armed Forces. Having command experience at each rank, culminating in command of the 7th Toronto Regiment, LCol Smid is well-qualified to take command of Robert Land Academy and lead the school going forward. The Canadian Army’s military ethos of duty, honour, integrity and discipline are the foundation upon which he has based both his military career and his personal life, and will surely continue to guide him as he leads Academy Cadets and staff to live the five values of Robert Land Academy, labour, loyalty, courage, commitment and honour.

“We were very fortunate that all of the candidates we interviewed for the new Headmaster position were impressive and highly qualified individuals,” stated RLA Board of Governors Chair Bob Wright. “LCol Smid not only has an impressive military record and academic qualifications, his personality, personal character, and commitment to learning and growth are perfectly suited to the needs of the Academy.”

“The Board of Governors is confident not only in LCol Smid’s ability to lead the Academy but also his ability to steer the organization into the future,” said Wright. “We are excited for the future of Robert Land Academy under LCol Smid and our ability to serve our students.”

LCol Smid has completed four operational tours: Kosovo (1999); Bosnia (2000/01); Afghanistan (2003/04); and Lebanon (2017/18), and has received several decorations and commendations, including the Chief of Defence Staff commendation in 2019 for work in Lebanon; appointed to the Order of Military Merit in 2013 in the rank of Member; awarded the Medal of Bravery in 2011 for personal actions during a rescue and was awarded the Canadian Armed Forces Decoration with clasp in 2012.

He is a graduate of the Joint Command and Staff Program 2011, where he ranked in the top 10% of graduates. He also has a Masters in International Trade and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Studies (Honours) both from the University of Saskatchewan.

There is a saying in the Army, “you constantly work on developing the defensive position”, says LCol Smid, explaining it means you are always working to improve, both individually and as a group. It is this philosophy he hopes to bring to RLA, looking to lead and support staff and students to develop their strengths and individual abilities, while working to improve and expand his own skills as well.

“I have always worked hard to bring out the best in people and am therefore grateful to be joining an institution with a proven track record of success working with boys to help them achieve their potential,” said LCol Smid on his appointment to Headmaster of Robert Land Academy.  “I very much look forward to being part of a team of dedicated men and women who have worked hard over the years to advance the academy’s mission and who have demonstrated extraordinary courage and commitment to ensuring the highest standards of education and health protection during these challenging COVID-19 times.  We live in a fast-paced, ever-changing world that requires adaptability and resiliency; our staff has demonstrated these qualities and I’m confident our boys will this year as well.”